Governor's Message to the 56th legislature. Page: 10 of 41
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It is interesting to note that if we did nothing more than raise our five
major selective sales taxes to the same rates now levied by Arkansas, this would
bring in an additional $108, 800, 000 per year to the State Treasury. If we raised
our rates to those of Oklahoma, this would produce $85, 100, 000 in additional
revenue each year. If we went up as high as the Louisiana rates on these same
selective taxes, we would receive $135., 400, 000 more each year. I repeat, these
figures are based only upon the five selective taxes I have mentioned on which we
are below the average of our neighboring States. I have prepared a chart showing
these comparisons and will attach it to this message as Exhibit 1, for your perusal.
Also, I will attach as Exhibit 2 a table showing "Rates of Major State Taxes
Paid by Individuals" in all of the States, and Exhibit 3, a "Comparison of Major
Business Taxes Used by State Governments".
You will understand from these charts, studied in connection with the
report of the Tax Study Commission, why I have been optimistic concerning the
financial situation of our State. They show the possibility of meeting all of our
present and future needs without sacrificing our tax advantage and tremendous
attraction for new residents and new industries by resorting to a general sales
tax or a state income tax.
Because I have opposed these two forms of State taxation for many years,
and because the adoption of one means almost certain adoption of the other, the
recommendations I shall outline today were purposely prepared to meet our needs
without either of these taxes. I trust that those of you who favor one or the other
of these taxes will understand and respect my position on the subject, even though
you disagree with it. I shall certainly understand and respect yours.
In fact, when I entered the Legislature in 1939, with the State Treasury
in a deficit and at least $26, 000, 000 needed in new revenue, I was sympathetic to
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Price, Daniel. Governor's Message to the 56th legislature., book, January 21, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5870/m1/10/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .