Texas GOP Bill Gives Tax Cuts to Heterosexual Parents
A newly introduced Texas House bill proposes property tax cuts for couples who get married, stay married, and have lots of children. There’s a catch though. In order to qualify for the tax benefit, couples need to be heterosexual, never divorced, and their children born or adopted after their date of marriage. LGBTQ couples, single parents, divorced parents, and blended families will not qualify for full benefits.
H.B. 2889 would provide qualifying couples with a 40 percent property tax reduction if they have four children, with the tax break increasing for every additional child. Couples with 10 or more children would pay no property tax at all. Just getting started? A couple that meets the requirements laid out by the bill gets a 10% reduction even before they have children.
“Supporting Texas means supporting Texas families,” said Rep. Bryan Slaton, who introduced the bill. “Texas will start saying to couples, ‘Get married, stay married, and be fruitful and multiply.”
But the bill won’t be supporting all Texas families and children, just the ones deemed morally acceptable by the state’s Republican party.
In his press release outlining the contents of the bill,Slaton suggested that the proposal had been modeled after laws implemented in Hungary and Poland, which provide a virtually tax-free existence to large families. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s family policies were heavily promoted by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson last year.
With both Texas’ House and Senate under Republican control, the bill could gain traction, especially considering the state’s status as a testing ground for pro-natalist GOP policies. Texas banned abortion in July of last year following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and the state has attempted to implement several laws penalizing women who attempt to seek abortions and medical providers willing to assist them. The state’s notorious “bounty law,” which preceded the Supreme Court striking down Roe, incentivizes citizens to sue anyone they suspect in aiding an individual in attaining an abortion.
Concern over tax cuts has been brewing in the Texas statehouse for weeks now. State Democrats voiced concern that Governor Greg Abbott’s proposed budget didn’t take advantage of the state’s immense budget surplus.
“We have a once-in-a-generational opportunity to make smart investments, strategic decisions,” House Democratic Caucus Chair Trey Martinez Fischer, told Spectrum News 1 earlier this month. “Before we squander [the funds] on pet projects and tax cuts that don’t touch everyone in Texas, we ought to fix the things that impact us all. That is what Texas Democrats want to do this session. We want to invest in Texas.”
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