Senator Tommy Williams
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0104

May 12, 2005
Contact: Lauren Hutton (512) 463-0104

State Sen. Tommy Williams votes against HB 3

AUSTIN -- The Senate's version of the school finance tax bill passed the Senate 21-10 early Wednesday morning after hours of floor debate, which began Tuesday evening.

State Senator Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, voted against the measure because of its punitive nature toward Texas businesses and taxpayers.

"The Senate version of CSHB 3 contains a gross receipts tax, which is very punitive to Texas businesses and may force jobs and companies to move out of state," Williams said.

"HB 3 fell short of giving meaningful property tax relief to Texas taxpayers and failed to provide a more equitable tax structure to businesses. Any property tax savings realized by the passage of the bill will be transitory and short lived."

Previously, Williams offered several amendments to the tax bill in the Senate Finance Committee to limit appraisal creep by capping appraisal increases at 5 percent.

"Appraisal cap reduction is desperately needed to safeguard local taxpayers, especially for young families and those living on fixed incomes," Williams said. "Unfortunately, these measures to lower the cap failed to pass out of committee."

Williams added, "Texas families need good jobs and Texas businesses need an educated workforce to compete in today's global marketplace. I am hopeful the Senate and House conferees can mold these two versions into legislation which keeps Texans working in jobs with Texas-based companies."

First elected in 1996 to the Texas House of Representatives, Tommy Williams was later elected to the Senate in 2002 and re-elected in 2004. He represents Senate District 4, covering all or portions of Montgomery, Harris, Liberty, Chambers, Jefferson and Orange counties. Williams serves as Vice Chairman of the State Affairs Committee and as a member of the Senate Criminal Justice, Education and Finance committees.