Over the last 5/6 years , the Republican Party has taken on quite an evolution, mainly due to the leadership and influence of former President Donald Trump.
The Republican Party used to be the party of big business who bent the knee to corporate lobbyists, before Trump’s involvement in the political scene.
After his introduction, the GOP shifted, becoming the party of the people, small businesses, and low taxes, looking to appease a working-class base that had long since been left behind.
With many in the party desperate to see the return of the one-term President, this conjures belief that the GOP may still hold these values close.
However, Republicans in the House of Representatives in Texas may not feel the same, as they look set to pass a tax increase after bowing to pressure from hotel lobbyists.
Back to the old ways?
The bill, which is known as HB 2889, would make changes to travel tax liabilities, which essentially means that the consumer will end up paying more than they would’ve been pre-pandemic if they want to take a vacation in Texas.
This bill is currently opposed by the Americans for Tax Reform group and the American Legislative Exchange Council, amongst others.
34 current House Republicans in Texas signed the ATR’s tax pledge, putting them all in a very volatile position if they decide to pass the bill.
It makes sense for this bill to have been pushed by hotel lobbyists, as the bill would drive people away from hotel booking sites such as Expedia and directly into the hotels themselves, allowing the lobbyists to profit.
Lobbyist pressure is the only logical reason as to why Republicans would back a bill that increases taxes on Texans and tourists looking for a getaway in the Lone Star State.
However, this would go against the new leanings of the Republican Party under former President Trump’s leadership.
What makes even less sense is that, despite the pandemic, Texas’ budget is looking pretty solid right now, so the Republicans shouldn’t really have any concerns or feel the need to raise taxes to aid the budget.
The tax increases included in HB 2889 would significantly damage the tourism industry in the state, an industry that has suffered enough over the past year and a half.
With Texas being one of the only states to have fully lifted restrictions, many Americans will be looking to escape from lockdown states into Texas to get a taste of true freedom.
With these new tax rises, that may not happen, and tourism in the state will suffer needlessly once again.