Texas state Rep. Bryan Slaton has introduced a bill that would give property tax credits based on a number of factors some consider to be controversial.
HB2889 aims to give tax relief to qualifying married couples, and the amount would vary based on the number of children, according to the legislative proposal.
“I come from East Texas. We have biblical values there where we want people to get married, stay married, be fruitful and multiply,” Slaton, a Republican, stated, reported KTBC.
The bill defines a qualified married couple as “a man and a woman who are legally married to each other, neither of whom have been divorced.”
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The measure would give a 40% property tax credit for qualifying families with four qualifying children. The tax discounts would then increase by 10% per additional qualifying child up to 10 children. Ten or more children would result in a property tax-free household.
“What this is doing is incentivizing and pushing a healthy family unit,” said Slaton. “I think we need to incentivize more children. Yes, I am worried a little bit about our birth rate,” he continued.
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However, not everyone is pleased with the bill.
“I do think that there comes a point when anti-trans anti-LGBTQ animus becomes kind of a full-blown creepy obsession,” said Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group.
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Dr. Eddie Carder, constitutional law professor at Texas A&M, expressed that he does not view HB2889 as constitutionally valid at the state or federal level, and said the legislation is at odds with the Supreme Court ruling that a person has the right to marry any person of their choice, according to KTBC.
“We can have that discussion, and they can have that discussion in court,” said Slaton.
The Texas representative said the bottom line is to see children do better with their mother and father in the same household.
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