It is hard to characterize HB3 as a "tax increase" since it was a part
of a package of four bills that raised some taxes (franchise, cigarette,
motor vehicle sales taxes) and lowered others (property tax) by much
more. The net result of all bills combined was to be a net tax cut of
about $2.5 billion annually. And it turns out that the overall net tax
cut was even greater than that because the franchise tax in HB3 fell
short of estimates by about $1.5 billion a year. I don't think it's
appropriate to isolate one part of the 2006 package and focus on it,
because none of the bills would have passed on their own merits--it was
a package deal.
As far as the biggest tax increases, I'll have to limit my history to
the 70s and beyond, but the 1987 package was the largest in my career.
The $5.7 billion it raised over its first two years was an increase of
25% of state general revenue at the time. In second place was the $3.4
billion that HB72 raised during its first full biennium--a 16.5%
increase (this was the tax bill used to fund the Perot committee
Even if you isolated the franchise tax bill in 2006 (HB3), it ultimately
raised $3.0 billion during the first biennium it was in effect
(2008-09). That amounts to about 3.8 percent of general revenues. But
again, I don't think that is a valid comparison because no one would
have voted for it absent the $7 billion of tax relief that was in HB1.
Witness the vote tally and who voted for it:
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