Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939 Page: 99 of 263
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the old age assistance amendment. The Legislature passed the present
law under direct mandate of the people. Each candidate for the governorship
and practically every candidate for the Legislature publicly
pledged himself in the recent primaries to a program of adequately financing
this old age assistance.
The only way to do it is by taxation, the most painful subject with
which governments have dealt from their beginning. We cannot escape
the fact, however, that it is our solemn duty. We may differ as to the
means of raising revenue; but all of us must concede that together we
face this necessary task.
In adequately financing the permanent old age assistance program in
Texas, industry, public utilities, natural resource producers and individuals
must all be ready to pay their proportionate share of a substantial increase
in tax levies necessitated by these unusually heavy demands. It is not my
prerogative as Governor of this State to determine which group shall assume
the tax burden necessitated by old age assistance, or in what proportion.
It is my obligation, however, as Chief Executive to make suggestions
to the Legislature for their consideration. These I make in an effort
to be helpful.
The platform of the Democratic Party adopted at the recent state convention
at Fort Worth pledges us to certain specific taxation policies.
Some of them are of such nature as to require a complete overhauling of
the tax structure, possibly constitutional amendments, which cannot be attempted
at a special session. I shall not, therefore, refer to them in this
message, but do direct your attention to the following specific planks in
the Democratic platform:
1. A substantial increase in the tax on natural resources, including oil,
gas and sulphur.
2. Increased franchise taxes on oil and gas pipe line companies.
3. Luxury taxes.
4. Substantial increase in inheritance taxes.
5. General increase in franchise tax laws.
6. Revision of tax laws to prevent evasion.
7. Stricter provisions for collection of delinquent taxes.
8. Restoring the tax imposed on breweries and beer dealers to the
amount imposed by law prior to the amendment adopted by the
Legislature at its last session.
I commend the foregoing tax recommendations of the Democratic Party
for your careful consideration.
Of course, the imposition of new taxes of any kind will be unpopular.
As yet, I have not heard a single tax suggested to which there was not an
immediate objection made by the class or industry affected. Most of them
are able to make convincing arguments against new or additional taxes.
All of them suggest the burden be placed somewhere else; and our experience
tells us that such arguments usually leave us where we started; that
is, we know the job has to be done, the money has to be raised, and the
only way to raise it is by taxation.
The party platform commits us to a substantial increase in the tax on
all natural resources including particularly oil, gas and sulphur. Already
a great deal has been said in the press as to whether such tax should be
"reasonable" or "substantial." I think it should be both!
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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/m1/99/?rotate=90: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .