State Representative Richard Peña Raymond (D-Laredo) has announced he will introduce a constitutional amendment that establishes honesty in taxation and classifies fees, surcharges and other revenue-generating measures as taxes.
“Two weeks ago I met with staff members of the Legislative Council and directed them to draft the appropriate bill establishing once and for all what all hardworking Texans already know – that a fee is a tax – period,” said Rep. Raymond. “I will introduce this legislation so that we can take it up and, I believe, pass it, during the upcoming legislative session.”
Rep. Raymond, who is Vice-Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said that for too long elected officials in Texas, Washington and governments throughout the country have passed taxes by calling them fees, surcharges, assessment and even penalties.
“It is time we make it harder for politicians to hide the truth from the people, and the truth is, if you raise fees, you raise taxes. We need to make sure all taxes are out in the open, so Texans know when their taxes are being raised,” Rep. Raymond said.
Tax-Free Food, Drinks, Medicine, and Child-Care Services
LAREDO, Nov. 10, 2010 — Rep. Richard Peña Raymond (D-Laredo) has filed HJR 36 to protect Texans from higher taxes. The constitutional amendment prohibits the legislature from taxing certain food, drinks, medicine, or child-care services.
“These are difficult times and Texas families across the state are facing increasing financial hardships. Most foods and medicines are not taxed — and I want to keep it that way,” said Rep. Raymond. Rep. Raymond added that currently certain foods, bottled water, over the counter medicines, and day care services are exempt from taxation under the tax code. These exemptions are not constitutionally mandated. Each session, Texans face the possibility of being required to pay taxes on indispensable items that their families require to live. “My bill would allow Texans to vote on prohibiting a tax on such things as food and medecine,” said Rep. Raymond.
By Ray Gomez
Raymond worked on a recently passed bill that will attract 900 new doctors to Texas over the next four years through a physician loan repayment program.