Mike Collier, a CPA and the Democratic nominee for Texas Comptroller, is the first statewide candidate in Texas to release a television ad for the general election. In the ad, Senator Glenn Hegar, the Republican nominee for Texas Comptroller, can be seen clearly stating:
“I don't like the property tax, never had. I think we should replace it. The best thing to replace it with is a consumption-type tax, a sales tax per se.”
Burnt Orange Report has previously reported on Sen. Hegar's plans to raise taxes on all Texans. If Sen. Hegar has his way, it is expected the Texas sales tax would have to be raised to between 20% and 25% from the current 6.25% to make up for the absence of the property tax.
It may seem like April is too early to go up on tv for a November general election, however, for a down ballot race, it may prove wise for Mr. Collier to start defining himself and Sen. Hegar now. As the election season progresses, it may prove difficult to secure the attention of both the voters and the Texas media than the more prominent and likely better funded races for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. In other states, Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska and Senate candidate Michelle Nunn of Georgia recently went on the offensive and released their own ads for the November general election to start defining themselves and their Republican opponents. This is what it is like to live in a battleground state.
Mr. Collier sourced much of his information from an article in the Dallas Morning News. Watch the ad below the jump and then read the sourced article to see where Mike Collier got his facts.
End property tax? Hegar drawing fire
AUSTIN – Sen. Glenn Hegar, the Republican nominee for comptroller, is having to walk back some of his enthusiastic statements about abolishing property taxes in Texas.
“I don't like the property tax,” he told a Longview tea party gathering in January. “We should replace it. The best thing to replace it with is a consumption type tax, sales tax per se.”
To many staunch conservatives, such talk is nectar.
Populist Republican Debra Medina, one of several rivals Hegar beat in this year's primary, talked during her surprisingly strong bid for governor four years ago of a plan to repeal and replace property taxes with sales taxes. This year, Sen. Dan Patrick has made blasting the property tax a centerpiece of his bid for lieutenant governor.
Hegar, though, suggested a very rapid transition to an entirely new tax system – and opened himself to a raft of questions about much higher sales tax rates that would be needed to replace what schools, cities and counties get from property taxes.
On Thursday, Democratic comptroller hopeful Mike Collier released a video of Hegar's Longview comments, calling Hegar's proposal an “unimpeachably bad” policy idea.
The Democrat, a former PricewaterhouseCoopers partner in Houston, said abolishing property taxes would require more than doubling the most common state-local sales tax rate of 8.25 percent, to 20 percent or more. That would shift power away from localities to the Legislature and “put our schools at unnecessary risk,” Collier said.
David White, Hegar's campaign manager, rushed to clarify, saying the candidate “has been clear that we are many years away from being able to implement” a full switch to sales taxes. He said Hegar wants to improve property appraisals.
But the damage was done. Politically, you can't easily replace the more than $40 billion a year that local property taxes yield by tinkering with state and local sales taxes, which currently produce about $28 billion.
If Hegar wants to be the chief tax collector and revenue estimator, he should know that.
You can follow me on Twitter at @trowaman.