Texas Voters Could Decide Future of State Income Tax

Of all the ten state constitutional amendments on the Texas ballot this week, one in particular could have a major impact on the future of the state's economy. Proposition 4 would make it nearly impossible for future legislatures to implement a state income tax in Texas. Under Prop 4, any state income tax would require two-thirds approval by both the Texas House and Senate, plus approval by voters statewide.

State Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano) recently wrote an op-ed in support of Prop 4. He tells KTRH why he believes it is so important. "Prop 4 amends the state constitution to prohibit a state income tax, so if any future legislature wants to impose a state income tax they'll have to repeal that amendment," he says. "Banning a state income tax in our constitution sends an incredibly strong message to 28 million Texans, but also to the rest of the nation, that we in Texas are committed to remaining a taxpayer-friendly state."

State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston), who also works as a tax adviser, agrees that Prop 4 is necessary to protect the Texas economy. "One of the reasons why Texas is the job creation engine of the country is because we don't have an income tax, and that's one of the reasons why corporations and individuals come to Texas," he tells KTRH.

Sen. Bettencourt also warns voters not to be fooled by ballot language or confusing messages. "If you want to do away with the possibility of a state income tax, vote yes on Prop 4," he says. "Don't listen to anything else, just vote yes on Prop 4."

Texas is one of only nine states that do not have a state income tax.

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