This ‘stunt’ is not necessary in Texas

Texans don’t like a state income tax. They don’t pay it now. They likely won’t ever approve of it in my lifetime, or maybe in my granddaughter’s lifetime.

Yet our Legislature has decided that we need to have yet another amendment to the Texas Constitution that makes a state income tax even more difficult to enact.

It’s as what one Dallas-area legislator has called it: a “stunt.”

Proposition 4 is the ballot. It is one of 10 amendments to the Texas Constitution that voters will decide next month. It will pass likely with a huge majority. It won’t have my vote.

It’s not necessarily that I want a state income tax. It is because Texas already has an amendment on the books, on top of a law passed prior by the Legislature that requires a majority of Texans to approve of a state income tax if the issue ever were put to a vote.

Proposition 4 is a case of amendment overkill.

According to the Texas Tribune: Currently, the Texas Constitution requires voters to approve an individual income tax in a statewide referendum, which legislators can ask for with a simple majority in the House and Senate. Proposition 4 would raise the bar, amendment the constitution so that any income tax resolution would need two-thirds support in both legislative chambers before the matter goes to votes, who would ultimately decide.

State Sen. Pat Fallon of Prosper, a Republican who toyed briefly with challenging U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in the 2020 GOP primary for Cornyn’s Senate seat, authored this amendment.

State Sen. Nathan Johnson, a Dallas Democrat, calls Prop 4 a “waste of time” in addition to labeling it a “stunt.” It is both of those things.

Texans won’t approve a state income tax. There is no need to clutter up the Texas Constitution — which is too cluttered as it is — with this piece of legislative idiocy.