Equality in Business Taxation

The Texas Legislature reformed the franchise tax over a decade ago to better reflect the modern sectors of the Texas economy, close tax loopholes, and to help finance a reduction in the school property tax. Legislative sentiment periodically favors a phase-out or repeal of the franchise tax. TAM opposes exempting favored businesses from the tax, leaving others to shoulder the 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.