State of Texas Archives: on Tax Reform

Allen West: Claims Texas tax system based on principles of Karl Marx

[On property tax]: "I find it quite unconscionable," West added, "that our system of taxation here in Texas is based upon the principles of Karl Marx: number one being a progressive tax system and number two the fact that he believes that there should be an elimination of private property."

"When you are taxing people, based upon their property, and it continues to increase, Texan really never have the opportunity to own their homes and all their property."

Source: The Texan on 2022 Texas Gubernatorial race Jul 4, 2021

Chad Prather: Provide lower rates for farmers and ranchers

Source: 2021 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website Jun 1, 2021

Chad Prather: No state income tax, reduce property tax

Source: 2021 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website Jun 1, 2021

Don Huffines: I will phase out the property tax system entirely

Source: 2021 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website May 30, 2021

MJ Hegar: Use tax credits, incentives to support small business

I believe the country and our economy are stronger when our workers and their families are strong. We need to raise wages and work to lower the cost of housing to ensure workers can provide for their families and use tax credits and incentives to support small businesses instead of giving tax breaks to companies that ship their jobs overseas.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website Jan 20, 2020

MJ Hegar: Opposed 2017 tax cuts for corporations, extremely wealthy

It's important to acknowledge that the scales have shifted to favor the rich and powerful over the working families that are left to contend with obscene medical costs, high rent and bills, student loan debt, and more. I opposed the 2017 tax cuts for big corporations and the wealthiest Americans and would vote against any legislation that benefits corporations and the extremely wealthy while hurting working families trying to make ends meet.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website Jan 20, 2020

Greg Abbott: Rein in property taxes; they punish families

If we are going to keep Texas the economic engine of America, we must rein in a property tax system that punishes families and businesses and prevents younger Texans from achieving their dream of homeownership. We can no longer sit idly by while property owners are reduced to tenants of their own property with taxing authorities playing the role of landlord. I applaud leaders of the Senate and House for working together on bills that limit the ability of taxing authorities to raise your taxes.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Texas legislature Feb 5, 2019

Andrew White: Unfair tax burden at state level on homeowners

When it comes to property taxes, the system is rigged AGAINST homeowners. The "Equal and Uniform" loophole costs Texans $5 billion per year. Buy a house, and the county values it around what you paid. Buy an office building, and a judge can value it at half the price. Commercial property owners use it every day, but homeowners get no discount. This puts an unfair burden on homeowners. When you lose $5 billion a year in property taxes, you can't pay for things.
Source: 2018 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website Feb 22, 2018

Beto O`Rourke: GOP tax plan helps rich & hurts middle class

H.R. 1 bets on trickle-down economics working when we know it doesn't. We know that providing billions of dollars in tax breaks to corporations and the richest Americans won't magically help middle class families. Rather, the exact opposite occurs. While nearly 50% of the cuts?--?over $500 billion?--?flows to the top 1%, this tax bill would cause 36 million households in the middle class to see their taxes rise. The rich get richer while the middle class pays up.
Source: on 2018 Texas Senate race Nov 16, 2017

Greg Abbott: The only good tax is a dead tax

Another way for Texas to grow jobs is by cutting taxes and regulations on business. Ben Franklin said the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. As far as I'm concerned, the only good tax is a dead tax. We must continue to cut the business franchise tax until it fits in a coffin.

Speaking of taxes, Texans are being crushed by property taxes. Their property tax bills often increase far faster than household income. No government should be able to tax people out of their homes. No government should be able to disregard the private property rights of its citizens.

Texas should not stand for it. We must remember: Property owners are not renting their land from the city. That is why we need property tax reform that prevents cities from raising property taxes without voter approval. We need serious property tax reform with a real revenue cap.

Source: 2017 State of the State address to Texas Legislature Jan 31, 2017

Lupe Valdez: Open to increasing taxes but not a state income tax

Democratic candidate for governor Lupe Valdez said Thursday she's open to increasing taxes if necessary, but she didn't give specifics besides saying she opposes a state income tax. "We keep the door open to a lot of stuff. Come on in," Valdez said at a forum. Asked whether she would advocate for a tax increase, Valdez said, "At this time, I'm not sure I could totally answer that."
Source: San Antonio Express News on 2018 Texas Gubernatorial race Jan 18, 2017

Jodey Arrington: Fairer, more sensible tax system

Our Tax Policies Encourage Companies to Send Money and Jobs Overseas: I'll support a fairer, more sensible tax system that saves our hard-working families money and brings investments and jobs back to America.
Source: 2016 Texas House campaign website Nov 8, 2016

Ben Carson: The IRS is not honest and we need to get rid of them

We have a system of taxation that is horribly wrong. I never had an audit until I spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast, and then all of a sudden, they said we just want to look at your real estate dealings. They didn't find anything, so they said let's look at the whole year. They didn't find anything, so they said let's look at the next year and the next year. They won't find anything because I'm a very honest person. The IRS is not honest and we need to get rid of them.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary Feb 25, 2016

Emily Sanchez: Supports higher taxes on the wealthy

Q: Do you support or oppose higher taxes on the wealthy?

: Support.

Source: E-mail interview on Texas 2014 Senate race with OnTheIssues Sep 19, 2014

Brian Babin: Oppose ANY tax increase

Taxes and Spending: I oppose ANY tax increase and will work toward a simplified tax code. Spending must be reduced with real cuts that lead to a balanced budget and end constant debt-ceiling increases.
Source: 2014 Texas 36th House campaign website Aug 31, 2014

Paul Sadler: Allow tax cuts to expire for nation's wealthiest residents

Democrats Paul Sadler and Sean Hubbard agreed on the issues, but still posed a stark contrast. Sadler is a seasoned former state legislator, while Hubbard is a 31-year-old party activist. Both expressed support for President Barack Obama's health care laws, Planned Parenthood clinics and allowing tax cuts to expire for the nation's wealthiest residents.
Source: Associated Press in CBS DFW on 2012 Texas Senate debate May 4, 2012

Paul Sadler: Allow tax cuts to expire for nation's wealthiest residents

Democrats Paul Sadler and Sean Hubbard agreed on the issues, but still posed a stark contrast. Sadler is a seasoned former state legislator, while Hubbard is a 31-year-old party activist. Both expressed support for President Barack Obama's health care laws, Planned Parenthood clinics and allowing tax cuts to expire for the nation's wealthiest residents.
Source: Associated Press on ABC News on 2012 Texas Senate debate May 3, 2012

David Dewhurst: State income tax would pass over my dead, cold body

Cruz needled Dewhurst on Texas' budget, claiming that Dewhurst "was playing games" and never cut the budget, which Dewhurst denied.

The moderator noted that the state budget has increased substantially during Dewhurst's tenure. Dewhurst came right back with: "I cut state spending," he said, adding that he made clear a state income tax would pass "over my dead, cold body." (Not having a state income tax has no bearing on whether the state budget increased under his watch).

Source: on 2012 Texas Senate Debate Apr 21, 2012

David Dewhurst: I favor a fairer and flatter tax

Cruz says he will throw his body in front of a train to stop Obamacare.

Dewhurst: I think everyone on stage can give a good speech and say roughly the same thing. [Can he] say he's actually done it.

Source: KVUE coverage of 2012 Texas Senate debate Apr 2, 2012

Ted Cruz: Permanent Washington elite protects the tax code

Dewhurst: "I am in favor of a fairer tax, a flatter tax."

Dewhurst: I've been involved in repeatedly cutting spending by billions and taxes by billions.

Cruz on Dewhurst income tax: In 2006, he told the Associated Press "I think I'd rather see a tax that's based on income."

Cruz: "It's interesting when people try to run away from their records. Dewhurst was dragged kicking and screaming to cut the budget."

Source: KVUE coverage of 2012 Texas Senate debate Apr 1, 2012

Tom Leppert: Flat tax is an opportunity to expand the base

Leppert: A flat tax is an opportunity to expand the base. The tax code has more words than the Holy Bible.

Cruz on flat tax proposal: There is a permanent elite in Washington in both parties protecting tax code.

James says he supports a flat tax "at the lowest possible rate."

Dewhurst: "I am in favor of a fairer tax, a flatter tax."

Source: KVUE coverage of 2012 Texas Senate debate Mar 31, 2012

David Dewhurst: Passed the largest tax cut in Texas history

A proven conservative leader and businessman who built a successful company from the ground-up, David Dewhurst will fight Obama's war on the American economy.
Source: 2012 Senate Campaign website,, "Issues" Mar 27, 2012

Elizabeth Ames Jones: When raising taxes, government takes a little more freedom

I believe individuals, families and businesses should keep more of what they earn. Every time the government raises taxes, they aren't just taking money--they're also taking a little more freedom by denying people the right to use their hard-earned money as they see fit. I trust most people to make the right decisions, and I believe that the Federal Government attempts to do way too much. We must stop this irresponsible binge spending and dramatically reduce the size and scope of the federal government.
Source: 2012 Senate campaign website, Jul 17, 2011

Rick Perry: Balance our budget without raising taxes

We just can't forget that dollars do far more to create jobs and prosperity in the people's hands, than they can in the government's. Taking more money away from Texas families and employers is not the answer to our challenges because they've already sacrificed plenty. Balancing our budget without raising taxes will certainly set a nice example for the rest of the nation, but we have a bigger motivation. Balancing our budget without raising taxes will keep us moving forward out of these tough economi times, creating more jobs and opportunity and leaving Texas more competitive than ever. Now, the mainstream media and big government interest groups are doing their best to convince us that we're facing a budget Armageddon. Texans don't believe it and they shouldn't because it's not true. Are we facing some tough choices? Of course, but we can overcome them by setting priorities, cutting bureaucracy, reducing spending and focusing on what really matters to Texas families.
Source: 2011 Texas State of the State Address Feb 8, 2011

David Alameel: Repeal individual income tax and lower corporate taxes

Source: 2010 Texas House campaign website, Nov 1, 2010

Jon Roland: Permanently repeal the federal estate tax

Q: Do you support the permanent repeal of the federal estate tax?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year?

A: Yes.

Source: Texas Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test May 2, 2008

Barack Obama: Tax cut for seniors and those making $75,000 a year or less

Everywhere you go, you meet people who are working harder for less, wages and incomes have flatlined, people are seeing escalating costs of everything from health care to gas at the pump. In some communities, they have been struggling for decades now. This has to be a priority of the next president. We have to restore a sense of fairness & balance to our economy. Weíve got to stop giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas and invest those tax breaks in companies that are investing here in the US. We have to end the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy and to provide tax breaks to middle-class Americans and working Americans who need them. If you are making $75,000 a year or less, I want to give an offset to your payroll tax that will mean $1,000 extra in the pockets of ordinary Americans. Senior citizens making less than $50,000, you shouldnít have to pay income tax on your Social Security. We pay for these by closing tax loopholes and tax havens that are being manipulated.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Rescind tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 a year

When Bush came into office, he inherited a balanced budget and a surplus. It is gone. We now are looking at a projected deficit of $400 billion, under the new Bush budget, and a $9 trillion debt. We borrow money from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis. I will get us back to fiscal responsibility. I will make it clear that the Bush tax cuts on the upper income, those making more than $250,000 a year, will be allowed to expire. My priorities are middle-class tax cuts and support for the middle class, to make college affordable, retirement security possible, health insurance affordable. Itís important that we look at where the money has gone under Bush -- no-bid contracts, cronyism, outsourcing the government in ways that havenít saved us money and have reduced accountability. We can get back on the path we were on. It was one of the reasons why the economy was booming. Iíve got that clearly in my economic blueprint, because itís part of what we have to do again.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Rick Perry: Tax rebates & tax relief instead of government spending

Today I have proposed a budget that invests in healthcare and higher education, a budget that cuts property taxes and eliminates accounting gimmicks, and that grows the Rainy Day Fund to more than $4 billion. Not only that, it expands upon the record property tax cut of last year by setting aside an additional $2.5 billion for tax relief.

One way to provide tax relief is in the form of a rebate. The appeal of a one-time rebate is that future legislatures don't have to find the money to sustain it. However, the will of the Legislature may be to provide rate relief instead. Either way is better than the alternative: which is having the money spent on more government.

And for the record, I don't believe cutting taxes is the same thing as spending. A spending cap is meant to stop runaway spending, not runaway tax relief.

Source: Texas 2007 State of the State address Feb 6, 2007

Paul Sadler: No state sales tax; decrease property tax

Source: Texas State 1998 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 1998

  • The above quotations are from State of Texas Politicians: Archives.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Tax Reform:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Oct 14, 2021