Texas' Constitution Makes a State Income Tax Nearly Impossible. Now Voters Could Make It Even Harder

AUSTIN -- A Collin County House lawmaker's plan to more deeply discourage anyone trying to drum up support for an individual income tax in Texas is headed to the November ballot.Plano GOP Rep. Jeff Leach's House Joint Resolution 38 would give voters a choice to make an income tax -- already strongly frowned upon, because for 26 years, the state Constitution has said that requires a vote of the people -- even more problematic.If voters agree with Leach on Nov. 6, future proponents of a personal income tax would face an even steeper climb: They'd have to win support from two-thirds of each chamber of the Legislature and a vote of the people to repeal his 2019 change.Leach's proposal squeaked through both chambers by narrow margins.Late Monday, it finally passed the Senate, 22-10, with one more than the minimum required for a constitutional amendment. On May 9, it cleared the House, 100-42, with 100 votes the bare minimum there.The result left progressive tax analyst Dick Lavine of the center-left think tank the Center for Public Policy Priorities stunned that 20 House Democrats, especially newly elected ones in so-called swing districts, provided Leach with critically needed votes."It turns out that if any one of those people had voted the other way, it would've died," he said of HJR 38.  Continue reading...

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