Senator Estes Passes Legislation to Assist Military Communities
AUSTIN -- State Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) passed his first bill of the 79th Legislature when the House of Representatives gave final approval Tuesday to his legislation allowing military communities the use of local 4A-4B economic development sales taxes to assist the bases they host.
Senate Bill 252 now advances to the desk of Governor Rick Perry for his consideration.
Estes, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and Military Installations, said his legislation is especially important to the 18 communities in Texas which have military installations as they prepare to undergo the next round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) by the U.S. Department of Defense. Senate Bill 252 will allow these communities to use local 4A-4B economic development sales taxes for base development projects including efforts to attract new military missions to existing bases.
After first passing in the Senate earlier in this legislative session, Estes' legislation was sponsored in the House by Rep. Dianne Delisi (R-Temple).
"In 2003 the Department of Defense spent $32.8 billion dollars in Texas resulting in an estimated impact of over $77 billion on the state's economy. The effect of losing one of our bases during the next round of BRAC would not only be felt in the respective local community, but across the entire state," Estes said.
"For example, Sheppard Air Force Base is the largest employer in Wichita County. The ripples of losing a base of that magnitude would reach from the Oklahoma border to the Gulf of Mexico," he said.
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