Texas House approves slicing state sales taxes for 1st time

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The state House has preliminarily approved a bill cutting sales taxes for Texans for the first time, setting the lower chamber up for a potentially tense fight with the Senate over whose tax cut package is best.

The sweeping proposal passed 141-0 on Tuesday after shorter-than-expected debate. It would cut sales taxes by about $2.7 billion in the 2016-2017 biennium.

The bill is part of the House’s two-pronged tax cutting package aimed at saving Texans $4.9 billion over the next two years. The second bill, which would cut business taxes, will also be discussed Tuesday.

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Once both facets get final, procedural House votes, chamber leaders will have to negotiate with the Senate — which has approved cutting property taxes.

Gov. Greg Abbott has declined to say which approach he prefers.