Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939 Page: 100 of 263
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particular reference to oil, in my message to the Regular Session
of this Legislature in February, 1935, I suggested that any increase in the
tax on oil should be reasonable so as not to place our Texas oil or petroleum
products in unfair competition with other states or countries. That
recommendation still stands; but at the same time I respectfully remind
you that we are faced with a crisis, the like of which the State has never
known before; an obligation voted by the people, the payment of which
was pledged by practically every candidate for public office; and the vast
majority of us favored substantial, yet reasonable increases on all natural
I am reliably informed that our sister States of Louisiana and Oklahoma
will in all probability have to increase their tax on oil in order to
meet their own pressing security problems. Both states have entered
upon social security programs coordinated with the National Government
just as we have. The fact remains that some state must take the lead;
and so long as we allow one state to be maneuvered against the other,
just that long will we be confronted with this problem which must be
My views as to a substantial increase in the tax on sulphur are well
known to this Legislature. They are a matter of public record. Again,
I recommend a substantial increase in this tax.
Heretofore when efforts have been made to increase the tax on sulphur,
we have been met with the threat, express or implied, that the sulphur
companies would move to Louisiana where the tax was 60 per ton. Now
Louisiana has taken the lead and increased her tax to $2.00 per ton. Ours
ise 75 . Press accounts recently carried the statement that sulphur interests
were threatening Louisiana with a move to Texas on account of
our tax being less. Of course, we want to secure all industries possible in
Texas, but there is no occasion for either Texas or Louisiana to be "jockeyed"
in such fashion.
Claim has been made that the $2.00 tax in Louisiana is the only tax paid
by the sulphur companies. I have investigated this, however; and find that
in Louisiana, as in Texas, the sulphur companies pay state and local ad
valorem taxes as well as a franchise tax of $2.00 per one thousand on capital
employed in that state.
It is perhaps a matter of opinion, but, in my judgment, the records before
this and previous Legislatures clearly disclose that the sulphur interests,
which supply most of the world market demands from Texas, have
too long escaped adequate taxation both at the hands of the State and in
some of the counties where their properties are located.
I further recommend to you that all other natural resources, including
natural gas, should be called upon to pay their share of the tax burden.
My views as to a general sales tax are well known to this Legislature and
to the general public. The platform. of the Democratic Party has again
definitely committed us against such tax.
I recommend a tax on luxuries. This tax, however, should be levied only
upon those articles which fall strictly in the class of luxuries and not
classed as necessities constituting a normal part of the average family
For instance, we have no state tax upon amusements in general. Particularly
I call attention to the well known fact that there is no state tax
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Allred, James V. Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939, book, 1939; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth3899/m1/100/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .