Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939 Page: 82 of 263
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With particular reference to the chain store tax:
I again direct your attention to the fact that this was a plank in
the State platform of the Democratic Party. In addition, I believe the
local merchants in Texas are surely entitled by this time to a fair
chance of sustaining themselves during this period of continued economic
difficulty. They have long borne a more than substantial part of the
financial burden of the State, and are entitled to have imposed upon
their chain store competitors a tax that will require them to contribute
their proportionate share of the cost of government.
A congressional investigation of the methods adopted by the national
chain stores to freeze out competition and defeat legislation discloses
the justice and necessity for the passage of chain store tax legislation.
Among other things, this investigation shows that the great foreign
chain stores set aside large sums of money to defeat State legislation,
including the chain store tax bills introduced during the Regular Session
of this Legislature. The chief lobbyist for these concerns testified
that he thought it legitimate, if it became apparent that a chain store
bill was going to be passed, to attempt to have it passed in an unconstitutional
form so that it would be stricken down by the courts. I caution
you, therefore, to proceed carefully. There is, however, no reason why
a valid real graduated chain store tax cannot be enacted.
The revenues received can constitute a just and substantial contribution
to needed State revenues. In addition to this, unless something is
done to equalize the unfair conditions prevailing and check the rapid
growth of these great foreign chains, then our independent business
men must ultimately become hirelings of monopolies controlled by holding
companies from beyond the State.
Again I recommend particularly the passage of a substantial increase
in the tax levied on sulphur. Texas sulphur deposits are the largest in
the world. A majority of the sulphur mined in this State is shipped
outside our borders. Evidence has been produced before committees of
this Legislature to show that those who have exploited these God-given
resources in Texas for years have amassed astounding and stupendous
profits from a very negligible investment. This evidence, I think, also
shows that the sulphur companies have not borne a reasonable share of the
State tax burdens, especially as compared with the owner of non-revenue
producing real estate.
With the tremendous deficit we have, the relief bonds which must be
retired and the old age pensions to be voted by this Legislature, I think
it only fair that this industry make a far more substantial contribution
to the cost of government.
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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/m1/82/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .