State Rep. James Talarico (D-Round Rock) has a more straightforward proposal. He has proposed an inflation relief package of measures that will halt the collection of many state-related fees for a year. This moratorium would now apply to tolls, vehicle registration, and inspections, as well as introducing another sales tax holiday for domestic products in January.
For this episode of Texas: The Issue Is, Talarico spoke with Rudy Koski of FOX 7 Austin.
REP. JAMES TALARICO: This is an attempt to provide immediate assistance to working families and our community. People are suffering the effects of global inflation. Unfortunately, the legislative branch has little options to combat global inflation. We can, however, provide immediate aid to those working families.
RUDI KOSKI: These total authorities have obligations. And how do you expect them to pay when you do the pass?
REP. JAMES TALARICO: So my bill would use a little bit of the historic budget surplus that we have here in Texas to keep textiles whole so we wouldn’t be sacrificing transportation funding levels. All we’d be doing is letting working families off the hook for paying these fees the next year. Texas recent news here about School Voucher Bill Hearing Draws Hundreds To Texas House.
RUDI KOSKI: How much is this going to cost? Have you done any kind of estimates about.
REP. JAMES TALARICO: I’ve collected about 1% of the budget surplus could be used to provide this one year pause in total fees.
RUDI KOSKI: This inflation break isn’t limited to toll roads. You have other ideas in doing a pause.
REP. JAMES TALARICO: I’ve put together a package of bills that would help provide inflation relief to working people across the state of Texas. So pausing toll roads for one year, pausing vehicle registration fees for one year, and then creating a sales tax holiday at the beginning of the year that folks can go out and buy household items tax-free.
RUDI KOSKI: I hear the lieutenant governor, I hear the governor and other Republicans say this is about giving the money back. This is about giving the money back.
REP. JAMES TALARICO: That’s exactly right. In the most direct way possible. You know, I don’t want to see tax breaks for wealthy corporations or wealthy individuals. I want to see relief for working people in our state. And oftentimes they get the shaft here in the Capitol. My bill is about providing relief directly to them.
RUDI KOSKI: Do you want this to be a one and done thing or do you see this as a recurring opportunity, or do you think this could be something that maybe we revisit over time?
REP. JAMES TALARICO: I think it’s a great way, whether it’s the toll pause, whether it’s the vehicle registration pause or whether it’s the sales tax holiday. These should be ongoing efforts to provide some relief for working people across the state who are facing rising cost of living in every community around Texas. We have a lot of Texas news you must read about KISD Picks Ringo As Its New Superintendent.
RUDI KOSKI: Are you getting any buzz, any traction in the House side? And what about the Senate?
REP. JAMES TALARICO: I mean, I think there’s bipartisan support for this kind of approach. I think we just got to make it a priority. And that’s why folks need to call their state reps, their state senators, and tell them we need inflation relief now.