Bill Text: TX HB645 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to honesty in state taxation.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-03-01 - Referred to Ways & Means [HB645 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB645-Introduced.html
  87R589 SRA-D
 
  By: Raymond H.B. No. 645
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to honesty in state taxation.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subtitle A, Title 2, Tax Code, is amended by
  adding Chapter 102 to read as follows:
  CHAPTER 102. HONESTY IN STATE TAXATION
         Sec. 102.0001.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT. The
  legislature finds that this state has hidden from taxpayers the
  enactment and increase of state taxes by describing the taxes by
  other names such as "fees," "levies," "surcharges," "assessments,"
  "fines," and "penalties." It is the intent of the legislature to
  establish honesty in state taxation and appropriately identify
  state taxes.
         Sec. 102.0002.  DEFINITIONS. In this chapter:
               (1)  "Regulatory tax" means a fee, levy, surcharge,
  assessment, fine, penalty, or other charge of any kind imposed by
  this state for a primary purpose other than to raise revenue for
  general purposes, including:
                     (A)  a charge imposed for a specific benefit
  conferred or privilege granted directly to the taxpayer that is not
  provided to a person who did not pay the charge and that does not
  exceed the reasonable cost to this state of conferring the benefit
  or granting the privilege;
                     (B)  a charge imposed for a specific state service
  or product provided directly to the taxpayer that is not provided to
  a person who did not pay the charge and that does not exceed the
  reasonable cost to this state of providing the service or product;
                     (C)  a charge imposed for the reasonable
  regulatory cost to this state related to the issuance of a license
  or permit, the performance of an investigation, inspection, or
  audit, or the enforcement of a state law or order;
                     (D)  a charge imposed for the purchase, rental,
  lease, or other use of state property; and
                     (E)  a fine, penalty, or other monetary charge
  imposed by this state for or in connection with a violation of a
  state law or order.
               (2)  "State agency" means:
                     (A)  a board, commission, department, or other
  agency in the executive branch of state government that is created
  by the constitution or a statute of this state, including an
  institution of higher education as defined by Section 61.003,
  Education Code, other than a public junior college, as defined by
  that section;
                     (B)  the legislature or a legislative agency; or
                     (C)  the supreme court, the court of criminal
  appeals, a court of appeals, or a state judicial agency.
         Sec. 102.0003.  USE OF HONEST STATE TAXATION TERMINOLOGY
  REQUIRED IN LEGISLATION. The legislature and the Texas Legislative
  Council are directed to:
               (1)  not identify a state tax, including a regulatory
  tax, as another type of state charge such as a "fee," "levy,"
  "surcharge," "assessment," "fine," or "penalty" in any new statute
  or resolution; and
               (2)  change a reference to a state charge that is not
  correctly identified as a state tax in the course of otherwise
  amending the state law containing the reference.
         Sec. 102.0004.  USE OF HONEST STATE TAXATION TERMINOLOGY
  REQUIRED IN STATE RULES, MATERIALS, PUBLICATIONS, AND ELECTRONIC
  MEDIA. A state agency:
               (1)  may not identify a state tax, including a
  regulatory tax, as another type of state charge such as a "fee,"
  "levy," "surcharge," "assessment," "fine," or "penalty" when
  proposing or adopting the agency's rules, reference materials,
  publications, and electronic media; and
               (2)  shall change a reference to a state charge that is
  not correctly identified as a state tax when amending the agency's
  rules, reference materials, publications, and electronic media.
         SECTION 2.  Chapter 325, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Section 325.0124 to read as follows:
         Sec. 325.0124.  REVIEW OF STATE AGENCIES FOR HONEST STATE
  TAXATION TERMINOLOGY. As part of its review of a state agency, the
  commission shall consider and make recommendations regarding
  statutory revisions necessary to correctly identify state charges
  as state taxes in accordance with the legislative intent prescribed
  by Chapter 102, Tax Code.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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