From the Office of State Senator Dan Patrick

For Immediate Release
June 17, 2009

Contact: Court Koenning (512) 463-0107

While the legislature is out of session, Sen. Patrick continues to work hard for his district

HOUSTON — Senator Dan Patrick welcomed Governor Rick Perry to Houston on Tuesday for the signing of House Bill (HB) 4765 which more than triples the business tax exemption. "As a result of this legislation, roughly 40,000 small businesses across Texas will be able to hang onto more of their dollars and plow them back into their businesses in the form of new hires and new equipment," said Gov. Perry. "There aren't many states that could extend a tax cut to small businesses in these tough economic times - I am proud that Texas has."

"Thousands of businesses now know that because they won't have to pay franchise taxes for the next few years, they can instead spend that money bolstering their business operations which are essential components to maintaining our strong state economy," said Rep. René Oliveira, author of the legislation.

"This legislation represents a significant tax reduction for small businesses and I'm glad these companies now have greater opportunity to hire workers instead of paying the government," said Sen. Dan Patrick, the Senate sponsor of the bill. "I am honored Gov. Perry would travel to Houston to sign this bill. His leadership from day one in his State of the State address to today has been instrumental in this bill's passage, and I am excited that we can come together to cut taxes in this uncertain economic environment."

Will Newton, Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) / Texas remarked, “Senator Patrick is a proven friend of the small business community. He understands the implications of over-taxing and over-regulating the very people who create jobs, spur entrepreneurship and historically lead our economy out of recessionary times. [House Bill 4765 will] reduce the franchise tax burden on the smallest of businesses; bring the kind of relief that will help them keep their doors open during these tough economic times.”

HB 4765 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2010.

After the bill signing, Senator Patrick brought Gov. Perry to a meeting with Cy-Fair ISD Superintendent Dr. David Anthony. The Cy-Fair Independent School District has been grappling with a projected $28 million deficit for the upcoming fiscal year. Hard decisions have to be made by the end of the month and options on the table for the school board include eliminating the optional homestead exemption, laying off school employees or increasing property taxes. Senator Patrick has been working day and night since being alerted to the funding problem by Dr. Anthony.

Governor Perry, Senator Patrick and Dr. Anthony had a 30 minute private conversation and left committed to finding a solution to the funding crisis in the Cy-Fair Independent School District. "Raising taxes, taking away the added home exemption, or cutting 500 jobs in this economy are all unacceptable options" said Patrick. "The state is not funding the district at the appropriate level. At the same time the district needs to find cuts wherever it can so this problem can be resolved" added Patrick.