Governor's Message to the 56th legislature. Page: 9 of 41
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The fortunate difference between Texas and the other States is that our
present per capita tax burden is far less than theirs. Thirty-six States have higher
per capita State-local taxes, and Texas and Nebraska are the only States which have
neither a general sales tax nor a state income tax.
True, we have several occupation taxes which amount to selective sales
taxes, but so do the other States, and usually at a higher rate than we levy here.
There is no such thing as getting rid of so-called selective sales taxes, like those
on gasoline, cigarettes, beer, liquor and automobiles, by substituting a general
sales tax or a state income tax. That is not the choice, because in the 46 States
which have either a general sales tax or state income tax, most of them still have
these same so-called "selective sales taxes".
For instance, each of the four States joining Texas--New Mexico, Oklahoma,
Arkansas and Louisiana--have both the general sales tax and the state income tax.
Yet, they levy the same selective sales taxes as Texas (usually at higher rates)
on gasoline, cigarettes, beer and liquor (except for Oklahoma, which is dry),
and they apply their general sales taxes to motor vehicles at a rate from 2 to 3
times as high as ours.
COMPARISON WITH OTHER STATES
In the intensive study which I have made of taxes levied by the other States
and from the excellent source material of the State Tax Study Commission, it was
most gratifying to find confirmation of my long-standing belief that Texas can
meet its needs and still maintain its competitive tax position with our neighboring
States by keeping our selective taxes in line with, or below, those of our comparable
neighbors. This would still avoid use of the general sales tax or state income tax,
both of which each of our neighboring States employ.
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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/m1/9/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .