Business Tax Proposals Watched

If a state senator has her way school districts across the state will change the way they collect revenue. A business tax combined with a change in the school property tax is under consideration. Businesses large and small are watching the business tax proposals with a leery eye.

Economic developers, such as Director of the Nacogdoches Economic Development Organization, Judy McDonald says they want only a fair tax. "I don't think any of the businesses don't want to pay their fair share, but they don't want an unfair burden put upon any business."

McDonald is examining a plan proposed by Senator Florence Shapiro. Both women were Texas mayors at the same time. Shapiro is now chair of the Senate Education Committee. The Plano native is looking for ways to fund teacher pay raises and bilingual education. Under her plan, the school property tax would become a statewide tax.

Today, McDonald is looking after the interest of existing and new businesses. Shapiro's plan to expand the current franchise tax is catching her attention. "A franchise tax is where businesses pay a flat franchise tax. It has nothing to do with their profits. Has nothing to do with how large a business they are and that respect on their profit loss. It's just gauged on the type of business they have."

Certain businesses, like lawyers and doctors offices, don't pay a franchise tax. McDonald says some expansion may be needed, but she would hate to see more tax for smaller businesses. She considers them the backbone of America.