20 or 30 votes in the House those years for their tax bills of quixotic kind, he got 47 votes for this. “If anything, it would be even more valid now,” he says. The small, marginal producer is squeezed worse than he was, and with imported oil increasing, the monpolistic power of the international majors is even greater than it was in 1959, he says. The State Comptroller, of course, has the data on the basis of which such a tax could be computed. Eckhardt estimates it would yield $25 million a year. In a tax package with Rep. Max Carriker of Roby that year, Eckhardt proposed a $7.5 million a year tax on billboards on the theory that by building highways, “We bring the public to the billboards.” It failed to pass. Billboards have hardly become more popular since then. Evidence is now conclusive that cigarettes cause cancer. Only Hume-like doubts about cause and effect prevent that flat statement from being unexceptionable. Cigarette ads are banned from TV. The present sales tax on the cancer-sticks, at 15.5 a pack, is one of the highest in the U.S. and should be higher. At 20 it would raise an extra $40 million, at least for a while. Finally, there is the topic: what kind of state personal income tax? Fred Schmidt, secretary-treasurer of the Texas AFL-CIO, proposed an in effect 5%-of-federal-tax-paid program in 1960. Such a personal income tax, figured by the taxpayer as a flat 5% of his federal income tax liability, Morgan figures, would raise $194 million a year. Representative Atwell has freely estimated a yield of $250 million from this general source. Others have said as much as $400 million a year. Morgan figures that variants of the “thorough-going ‘piggy back’ ” method would raise from $200 to $240 million a year for each 1% rate of income. \(The 5% rate under the “piggy-back” method would be a percentage of the federal income tax paid, The natural resources and corporate profit taxes might be made more enactable by tying parts of their yields to programs for protecting and cleaning up the environment. In general such “dedication of revenues” is terrible in theory, but it helps get taxes passed that would not get passed otherwise. Taxing sales at 4% would raise $140 million a year; taxing food, \(at the present drugs, $23 million; taxing services, $45 million. But these changes are not necessary to fund state services at levels generally held to be indicated up, say, to $500 million more a year. R.D. REFERENCE NOTES 1.”State and Local Sales Taxes,” Tax Foundation, Inc., 1970, Table 3, p. 12. 2.Carey C. Thompson, “State Tax Problems,” The Texas Quarterly, Autumn, 1959. 3.Daniel C. Morgan, Jr., “Financing Higher Education in Texas: Needs and Methods,” Institute of Public Affairs, University of Texas, pp. 62-70, 75. See also his articles in the National Tax Journal for March e 1963, and December, 1964. 4.Carey C. Thompson, “New Sources of Tax Revenue for Texas,” Texas Law Review, December, 1955. 5.San Antonio Express, Dec. 6, 1970; Austin American-Statesman, Dec. 25, 1970; Dallas Times-Herald, Dec. 20, 1970. 6.Dallas Morning News, Dec. 22,19’70. 7.Austin American, Nov. 25, 1970; Dallas Morning News, Dec. 18, 1970. 8.Interview, Cong. Bob Eckhardt, Austin, Jan. 9, 1971. 9.Interview, Sen. Barbara Jordan, Austin, Jan. 13, 1971. 10.Dallas Morning News, Dec. 25, 1970. 11.Dallas Morning News, Dec. 22, 1970. 12.San Antonio Express, Dec. 10,1970. 13.Morgan, “Financing Higher Education,” op.cit., p. 13. 14.Ibid, pp. 71-72. 15.Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dec. 13, 1970. 16.Texas Observer, Jan. 31, March 21, April 18 and April 25, 1959. Liberal lobby organizing Approximately 60 liberals met at La Villita in San Antonio Jan. 9 to discuss getting organized. Cong. Bob Eckhardt and many other persons at the meeting said they think liberals should form a loose organization based on issues, possibly something similar to Common Cause. The thinking is that while in the past groups, such as Democrats of Texas, were formed on the basis of loyalty to the national Democratic Party, today liberals are divided on the question of whether to attempt to reform the Democratic Party or to start a third party. An open invitation to a statewide meeting to continue the discussion on organization will be issued this month. In the course of discussing the advisability of seeking what reforms can be attained in Texas, State Sen. Charles Wilson of Lufkin told the group at La Villita, “The insurance companies are going to keep on running this state. The oil companies are going to keep on running this state.” Wilson, of course, was not endorsing the power structure as it is, but rather was describing the realities as they seem to him. Associated Press questionnaires sent to state legislators produced some edifying responses. Among those legislators who want to get tougher with student protestors is Rep. W. C. Sherman of Fort IPolitical intelligence Worth. “Throw ’em to Frank Erwin,” he recommended. Also adding to the jollity in the survey was Rep. John Hannah of Lufkin, who answered a question about what he thought should be done about the abortion reform bill by saying, “Shoot the sponsor.” And Rep. Paul Moreno of El Paso contributed his mite by endorsing the idea of required immunization of school children against communicable diseases. “Cows have it,” reasoned Moreno, “Why not children?” And in relation to no-fault automobile insurance, Moreno said “Forget it!” Rep. Bill Finck, San Antonio, was even more pithy on the same subject. “Kill!” quoth he. Sour frijoles It’s been a rather quiet year on the campuses, and so the regents of state-supported colleges and universities were rather surprised when Gov. Preston Smith called them together to tell them to get tough on campus. protesters. The A us tin American-Statesman reported that some of the regents complained that the meeting was a waste of time. “It’s understandable then that some of the regents have interpreted the governor’s actions as a bad case of post election sour grapes aimed at the University of Houston, where he was shouted off the stage by unruly students during his reelection campaign,” George Kuempel wrote in the Austin daily. More likely it was a case of sour frijoles. New UT regents The three new appointments to the . . University of Texas Board of Regents are not expected to significantly alter the political makeup of the board, but two of the appointees may somewhat diminish Frank Erwin’s dominance of the regents. Erwin announced some time ago his plans to step down as regents’ chairman this year, so he may not begrudge the influence Lyndon Johnson’s wife will have on the board. After Erwin had Dr. John Silber fired this summer, a rumor circulated that the former President felt that Erwin was the subject of excessive adverse publicity and thus Erwin was making a mockery out of his [Johnson’s] university. If there be substance to this rumor, the appointment January 29, 1971 11, .1. . : 4, .
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