Texas Senate Budget Chiefs Promise $4.6 Billion in Tax Cuts

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AUSTIN, TEXAS - The head of the Texas Senate and the chamber's chief budget writer are promising $4.6 billion in property and business tax cuts for the 2016-2017 budget cycle, representing an additional $600 million than they previously pledged.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Senate Finance Committee Chairwoman Jane Nelson announced Tuesday a trio of bills they said would mean some of the most substantial tax relief in state history.

Senator Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown) filed SB 8, also known as the Small Business Tax Relief Act.

The centerpiece plan seeks to expand homestead exemptions for homeowners, providing $2.5 billion in tax reductions over the biennial budget cycle. That means about $200 annually per average homeowner.

The two Republicans had already pledged to cut taxes by $4 billion, but had not provided details.

Their announcement follows top House leaders saying their chamber's tax-cut proposals also would top $4 billion.

Senate Bill 8 has received broad, bipartisan support in the Texas Senate, with 22 Senators agreeing to joint author the legislation with Senator Schwertner:

· Senator Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston)
· Senator Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury)
· Senator Konni Burton (R-Colleyville)
· Senator Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels)
· Senator Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe)
· Senator Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler)
· Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls)
· Senator Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay)
· Senator Bob Hall (R-Canton)
· Senator Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills)
· Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D-McAllen)
· Senator Don Huffines (R-Dallas)
· Senator Joan Huffman (R-Houston)
· Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham)
· Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville)
· Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound)
· Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville)
· Senator Charles Perry (R-Lubbock)
· Senator Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo)
· Senator Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood)
· Senator Van Taylor (R-Plano)
· Senator Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio)