Equality in Business Taxation

The Texas Legislature reformed the franchise tax 10 years ago to better reflect the more recent sectors of the Texas economy, close tax loopholes and to help finance a reduction in the school property tax. Legislative sentiment now may favor a phase-out or repeal of the franchise tax. TAM opposes exempting favored businesses from the tax if doing so leaves others to shoulder the entire burden. Moreover, TAM points out that because the franchise tax is low, broad and is not imposed on employment or investment, reducing or eliminating the tax is not likely to produce significant economic gains to Texas. No franchise tax cut is a substitute for a competitive property tax environment. But if the state’s policy goal is to reduce or eliminate the franchise tax, TAM insists that such relief be across-the-board so that all taxpayers are treated equally.