Road, water improvements
With little support in Austin to raise taxes, a Texas business group instead is calling for fee increases to strengthen the state's ailing infrastructure.
Bill Hammond at the Texas Association of Business suggests a $1.50 monthly charge on all water meters, also doubling the current vehicle registration fee to pay for new roads.
"Unless we find a new source of revenue, road construction is going to stop, congestion will get worse and we'll be at a tremendous disadvantage in terms of economic development," Hammond tells KTRH News.
Slow down says Bill Peacock with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, "The first thing we need to do is stop the diversion of funds. We're taking money away from transportation and spending it on other things.
"Rather than either look at reality or divert resources today to deal with this, they always want more money, and that is not the answer to the problem," says Peacock.
Hammond argues the state is running out of time, claiming other states already are using our aging infrastructure to lure business away.
"If we don't make these kinds of investments, companies simply will not move here, and the prospects for employment will get worse and worse for Texans, ourselves and our children," he says.
According to the TPPF website, "Texas ranked #1 among executives and #2 for competitiveness, but was #12 for mature business tax ranks and #42 for taxes on new business.
"This highlights the fact that, while Texas has a low overall tax burden, taxes are in fact, higher on business than the U.S. average. This is especially the case with Texas’ complex and burdensome margin tax."