Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Flames and a Texas income tax

Claims about a Texas state income tax have caught fire twice in 2012.
Claims about a Texas state income tax have caught fire twice in 2012.

The Texas Truth-O-Meter caught fire earlier this year after Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Ted Cruz charged then-frontrunner David Dewhurst, the lieutenant governor, with promoting an income tax for Texas.

That was an unsupported claim, turned out. Dewhurst had not promoted a personal or business income tax. This was so far from accurate, it was Pants on Fire!

The tax topic came up afresh in the latest U.S. Senate debate hosted by WFAA-TV in Dallas.

In the Oct. 2 debate, Cruz said Sadler "used to routinely introduce himself around the state as ‘I’m the guy that supports an income tax in the state of Texas.’" Cruz’s campaign emailed us a Feb. 3, 1993, Houston Chronicle news article quoting then-state Rep. Sadler, of Hendersonville, introducing himself to Harris County parents as "the guy for the income tax." But Cruz spokesman Sean Rushton offered no other examples of this self-introduction nor did we find any.
   
At the debate, Sadler replied: "That’s just a lie, Ted."
   
Cruz rejoined: "Did you support an income tax, yes or no?"
   
Sadler: "I never supported an income tax."

Turns out, however, that he did -- and even filed a proposed constitutional amendment that could have led to an income tax dedicated to funding education.

To say otherwise, we concluded, is ridiculous. Sadler’s claim went aflame.

See the full fact-check to the right.