It's official -- Texas's business taxes have been reformed and the largest property tax cut has been delivered. Governor Rick Perry signed the bill into law at three locations across the state Friday. One of them was in Bryan.
Before the third signing ceremony of the day, Perry took time to sign autographs for some area youths, people Perry believes House Bill 3 will benefit for years to come.
"There is not an issue that is more complex, that causes more passion than people's money and people's children," the governor said. "We just mixed them both together."
Perry lauded the bill's signing, saying it closes tax loopholes businesses previously snuck through, leaving much of the tax burden on homeowners and schools.
Among the new law's talking points are the rewards for creating jobs and providing benefits, which will lower tax liability for business, as well as protections for small businesses. Property tax cuts will total $15.7 billion, the largest in state history.
"Employers will benefit with a tax system that is fairer, a tax base that is broader and a tax rate that is substantially lower than the one we have today," Perry said.
Fellow lawmakers joined the governor Friday in applauding the bipartisan passed bill.
"For once, everybody worked together for the good of Texas, and I'm very proud to be standing here with these people and celebrating that achievement today," State Senator Steve Ogden (R-District 5) said.
"I think it's going to point to great success for the state of Texas, not only with the reforms we've made with the tax system, but because we've improved our public schools," added Corpus Christi's state representative, Vilma Luna (D-District 33).
As a result of the school finance reform, the Robin Hood system will be significantly reduced, with teachers receiving a $2,000 pay raise.
In addition to the ceremonial signing, Perry also presented proclamations to BTU and College Station Utilities recognizing them for their efforts to restore power after Hurricane Rita.