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Collier for Texas Comptroller

HEGAR’S PLAN: 20% SALES TAX.

Supports move “from property taxes towards a consumption-tax system”

Today the Collier for Comptroller campaign is launching a petition drive to rally opposition to Glenn Hegar’s plan to replace property taxes with sales taxes, one of the unimpeachably bad policy ideas in America today.

“This is just one more example of why we need a watchdog with real-world expertise to hold the legislature accountable. We don't need the worst ideas from the legislature becoming the pet projects of the person we're hiring to manage our state's money,” said Mike Collier, a former CFO of an oil company and a longtime partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “If Glenn Hegar thinks that a sales tax of 20%-25% would be the right way to fund schools, then he’s the wrong choice for Comptroller. It’s one thing to trot out applause lines at Tea Party rallies. It’s quite another to have the expertise required to offer reliable advice on the state’s finances, and putting all our eggs in the sales tax basket would not just raise taxes on most Texans but put our schools at unnecessary risk.”

“If Senator Hegar thinks this is such a good idea, I challenge him to debate me,” said Collier. “And to make it easier on him, I’d be happy to debate at the Tea Party meeting of his choice. I’m not afraid to play a road game if he’s not afraid to debate me.”

Replacing property taxes with sales taxes would shift the state’s tax burden from the wealthy to the working class. The Center for Public Policy Priorities reported that to replace “all property taxes in the state would require a state sales tax rate close to 18 percent. Add the current local sales tax of 2 percent, and the sales tax rate in most parts of the state would approach 20 percent.”

"Worst of all,” says Collier, “local school districts, counties, municipalities and the other 3,500+ political subdivisions would have to give up control and bow to some centralized, ‘we know how much money you need’ bureaucracy. I suppose Senator Hegar is contemplating a Texas Internal Revenue service which I strenuously oppose.”

In a Jul. 2012 analysis, former Deputy Comptroller Billy Hamilton put the sales tax increase even higher:

"The swap would give Texas the highest sales tax rate in the country—in fact, the tax rate very likely would have to be triple the current state and local rate—about 25 percent based on state estimates for fiscal year 2011, compared to the current state and local rate of 8.25 percent in most Texas cities. It would be more than double the highest sales tax rate in the nation."

If Billy Hamilton thinks it’s a bad idea, then Glenn Hegar isn’t going to convince many people that it’s a good idea, but he’s welcome to try,” said Collier. After a brief stint at Exxon, Mike Collier served in the audit practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers for 10 years, the last two years he spent as top aide to the PwC World Chairman. He finally served as a Partner for 10 years in Houston where he led a team of 25 professionals providing Mergers & Acquisitions due diligence, structuring, and valuation services to some of PwC’s largest and most sophisticated energy clients.

Mike went to Georgetown High School before graduating from the University of Texas, where he received his undergraduate degree and MBA, and played the trumpet in the Longhorn Band. He and his wife Suzanne now live in the Houston area, and have two sons attending UT in Austin.

Posted on March 17, 2014 in Press Releases.

Texas needs a watchdog for a Comptroller, not just another ambitious legislator.

Mike CollierFor too long, the people we've hired to mind Texas' tax dollars have been more interested in their political ambition than in holding politicians accountable. Texas needs a Comptroller who has the courage to tell taxpayers the truth and who has the know-how to hold the Texas legislature accountable.

As a business leader, financial professional, and Democrat, Mike will bring a fresh perspective to Texas government and drive real reform in Austin.

Meet Mike Collier >>