Tax Day: A Celebration of Service

Brakeyshia Samms

Today marks Tax Day – the deadline by which most Americans file their personal income tax returns. This year we managed to get three extra days to file our taxes thanks to the observance of Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C. on April 15. The hard work of my fellow volunteers in Volunteer Income Tax Assistance […]

Sales Tax Holidays Aren’t Good for Texas

Brakeyshia Samms

Last week I presented invited testimony to the Senate Finance Committee about sales tax holidays. Sales tax holidays sound good to consumers, especially in the late summer right before school starts. With a list of school-year needs a mile long, from school supplies to new clothes, hard-working Texas families look for every opportunity to save […]

FAQ: Texas Taxes and Tax Cut Proposals

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

The House and Senate have different tax cut proposals, generating many questions about what these tax cuts could mean for the future of Texas. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions. What are the tax cut proposals? The Senate proposes a $4.5 billion tax-cut package, made up of: SB 1, which would cut property […]

DFPS House and Senate Budget Proposals Similar, but Priorities Differ

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

Now that the full Senate has voted out its “marked up” version of the 2016-17 budget, we are one step closer to the end of the 2015 legislative budget process. Conferees on House Bill 1 will resolve differences between the Senate and House proposals before the regular session ends. For child protective services, foster care, […]

Funding for DARS Misses the Mark

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

Signaling that we are getting closer to the end of the 2015 legislative budget process, both the full Senate and the House have voted out their respective proposals for the 2016-17 biennium. This analysis looks at how the Senate and House plans differ in support for Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services, autism, rehabilitation, disability determination, […]

Undocumented Immigrants Paid $1.5 Billion+ in Texas Taxes

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

A just-released Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy report estimates that undocumented immigrants in Texas collectively paid $1.5 billion in property, sales, and excise taxes in 2012. (For other states that have a personal income tax, ITEP estimates that amount as well.) Today’s ITEP report points out that, “[l]ike other people living and working in […]

Who Pays Taxes in Texas?

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

Last week’s release of the 2015 Tax Exemption and Tax Incidence report by the Comptroller’s office is great reminder that Texas tax system is in dire need of a little spring-cleaning. The report reveals the unfairness of our tax system, since low-and moderate-income Texas households bear a disproportionate share of state and local taxes. The unfairness […]

Analysis in Brief: DARS Budget Proposals

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

On January 27, Senate Finance Chair Jane Nelson (R – Flower Mound) introduced SB 2, the Senate’s starting-point 2016-17 Texas budget. Two weeks earlier, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Joe Straus (R – San Antonio) introduced HB 1, the House’s recommendations for funding state services in 2016-17. Public hearings are now underway on […]

Analysis in Brief: DFPS Budget Proposals

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

This week, I testified in front of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article II on their respective starting-point budget proposals for DFPS. This testimony comes a month after the Speaker of the House of Representatives Joe Straus (R – San Antonio) introduced HB 1, the House’s recommendations for funding state […]

Texas Has the 3rd Most Unfair Tax System in the U.S.

Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow

In Texas, we like to pride ourselves as being the standard-bearer of many things across the country. Unfortunately, our tax system leaves a lot to be desired. The latest update of Who Pays? by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy reveals that Texas has the third most unfair (or regressive) tax system in the […]