- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 29, 2013

In an issue not seen very often, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling to amend the state’s constitution, allowing the government to return excess taxes back to the taxpayers.

In a speech Tuesday to the Texas Legislature, Mr. Perry, a Republican, also called for $1.8 billion in unspecified tax cuts over two years. The state estimates it will have an $8.8 billion budget surplus, Bloomberg reports.

“Today, I’m calling for a mechanism to be put in place so when we do bring in more than we need, we’ll have the option of returning tax money directly to the people who paid it,” he said. “Currently, that’s not something our constitution allows. We need to fix that.”

Republicans control both chambers of the Legislature but would need Democrats to get two-thirds support in both houses — something that seems highly unlikely, Fox News reports.

Democrat state Sen. Rodney Ellis charged that Mr. Perry’s proposal is a “political stunt.”

“We need to work toward a state budget that invests in the big needs of our state including water, schools and roads,” Mr. Ellis told Fox.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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