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Gov. Perry Addresses First Texas Tax Reform Commission Meeting

Perry Thanks Commission, Calls for Lower Property Taxes and Reliable School Funding

November 21, 2005

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today told members of the Texas Tax Reform Commission that their ultimate recommendations on reforming the state tax structure should focus on the goals of lowering property taxes, ensuring greater tax fairness, and providing a long-term, reliable source of funding for public schools.

“The way in which Texas chooses to construct a new tax system will have a tremendous impact on every aspect of our future, from our ability to attract jobs and economic growth, to the prosperity of our families, to the quality of education our children receive in tomorrow’s public school classrooms,” Perry said at the commission’s inaugural meeting.

Perry appointed 24 individuals to serve on the commission. The panel will hold public hearings around the state to gather input before making legislative recommendations to reform the Texas tax structure.

“As the leaders of Texas’ diverse and thriving private sector, from various industries and different regions of the state, you bring to this debate a fresh perspective and a wide range of expertise that will be essential to crafting a bipartisan plan that both chambers of the legislature can support,” he added. “And just as importantly, your service on this Commission provides Texas taxpayers an opportunity to let their voices be heard so that they might have a greater say over their taxpaying destiny.”

Perry also stressed the need to permanently lower property taxes. “The fact is, every year countless Texans are denied the opportunity to fully participate in the American dream simply because they can’t afford the tax bill associated with owning their own home,” Perry said. “And if property taxes are not permanently reduced, we will soon reach a day when the tax burden will force thousands of families to choose between foreclosure or selling the dream home they worked a lifetime to achieve.

In delivering his charge to the Commission, the governor outlined five key principles to guide deliberations on business tax reforms. Perry said the new business tax system must be fair, broad-based, modern, understandable to taxpayers and competitive with other states “so that Texas can continue to attract jobs by maintaining our reputation for having the best business climate in America.”

Perry announced in September that he was creating the advisory commission and named Democrat and former comptroller John Sharp to chair the Commission.