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Business tax not expected to hit goal

It was a tax born in a barbecue joint, the story has it, and now it's giving state budget writers heartburn.
The Texas business tax comes due again today, and no one's suggesting it will yield anywhere near the approximately $6 billion it was initially forecast to produce annually.

It yielded $4.5 billion when first collected in 2008, based on the previous year's business activity. Last year, collections dipped to $4.3 billion. State Comptroller Susan Combs predicts the same amount will be collected this year.

“I think it was set up to fail,” said Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, noting the levy was passed to help cover the cost of a cut in property tax rates for school districts. “I think when it was passed, they knew that it would not provide the appropriate swap that they were looking for, that it would not cover the reduction” in property taxes.


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