Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Governor Perry Shares a Variety of Proposals During His State of the State Address


Across the country this month, governors are heading to their respective state houses to reflect on the past year's accomplishments and challenges as well as their plans for the new year. Yesterday, Texas Governor Rick Perry took his turn at the podium and delivered his State of the State address to the Legislature. As the governor prepares for a tough re-election bid last year, he was determinedly cautious in the proposals he set forth. He did not share many details about the current economic conditions in our state, which received immediate criticism from his Democratic opponents. However, there certainly were some ideas in his speech that should be highlighted for their possible legal impact on the residents of Texas.

Are you reorganizing your finances as you figure out how to send your child to college? Governor Perry has proposed freezing tuition for four years of a student's education. So, at least you would know the price you are paying as a freshman will be the same you can expect to budget for the senior year. As Perry explains, "This will help Texas families plan while giving students another incentive to finish on time." This change could impact your taxes, child support, and other financial matters that have a legal component.

If you are a business owner, you may be interested in learning more about the incentives that the governor has in mind for you. He wants to raise the business tax exemption to $1 million from the current $300,000 in gross receipts. This tax on gross receipts was established in 2006 and received a great deal of criticism from small business owners. Also, the governor asked the legislature for $260 million in additional funds to further his Texas Enterprise Fund, which encourages businesses to relocate to Texas. With the strongest job growth rate in this tough economy, Texas certainly should already be appealing to employers who are looking for some sense of stability during these difficult times.

These proposals are just a few examples of the ideas that the governor and legislature have in mind for our state, and I am certain that we will be detailing others over the next few months. At Bertolino LLP, we have attorneys who are able to assist with the wide variety of legal changes that may be facing Texans in 2009. If you have any concerns about how the decisions made in Austin may affect you, please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office. We will make sure your family, your business and your home are adapting to the changes as needed.

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