Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Jones proposes tax compromise for budget solution

GOP gubernatorial candidate and State Auditor Gary Jones is out with a proposal for balancing the state budget:

State Auditor Gary Jones proposes a 5% GPT [Gross Production Tax] for first three years and 5% GPT after 3 years. Jones says this should be a part of an agreement to raise tobacco tax and make gasoline and diesel taxes $0.20 across the board. He also proposes an additional 2% on GPT when prices are higher to go into an educational stabilization fund and the rainy day fund.

The plan will raise about $500,000,000 annually and it will leverage another $300,000,000 federally. Jones' plan will fill the current budget hole and fund a much needed teacher's pay raise.

In response to a question on his post, Jones also made this statement: "I believe we can reduce about $300-$400 million in waste and inefficiencies. That with the revenue increase is what is necessary to fill the $900 million shortfall."

The current gasoline and diesel taxes are 17¢ and 14¢ per gallon, respectively. Only South Carolina and Alaska have lower gasoline taxes, and only Alaska has a lower tax on diesel. Texas currently charges 20¢ per gallon on each.