Texas governor seeks sales tax increase to help raise funds

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is pushing for a sales taxes increase for the first time in nearly 30 years as Republican leaders struggle to deliver on simultaneous promises to boost money for education and cut property taxes.

The catch: Lawmakers would have to first agree to limit future property taxes.

The plan for a one-penny sales tax increase, announced Wednesday, would raise the statewide rate from 6.25% to 7.25%. Local government add-ons make the average sales tax rate across Texas about 8.25%.

The extra sales tax could help offset reduced local property taxes, which have taken on a bigger share of public school funding as Texas leaders sought to satisfy conservative voters by cutting costs and resisting calls for new spending.

Texas does not have a state income tax.

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