Yesterday, the Texas House of Representatives voted on HB 3536, a bill that would impose a new tax of 2.75 cents per cigarette or per nine-hundredth (0.09) an ounce of tobacco product sold by companies that did not sign the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement. As the bill was written, HB 3536 constitutes a tax increase and a clear violation of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. This tax increase was approved by the Texas House yesterday by a vote 85-53.

As Empower Texans has already noted, in voting for HB 3536 yesterday, 17 members of the Texas House violated the pledge they made to their constituents to oppose any and all efforts to raise taxes. Those representatives who broke their important commitment to their constituents are as follows:

Rep. Bill Callegari

Rep. Myra Crownover

Rep. Sarah Davis

Rep. Larry Gonzales

Rep. Patricia Harless

Rep. Harvey Hilderbran

Rep. Dan Huberty

Rep. Kyle Kacal

Rep. Jim Keffer

Rep. Lyle Larson

Rep. George Lavender

Rep. Geanie Morrison

Rep. Four Price

Rep. Debbie Riddle

Rep. Ralph Sheffield

Rep. Phil Stephenson

Rep. John Zerwas

Had these legislators remained true to their pledge, HB 3536 would not have passed. Americans for Tax Reform applauds the 32 legislators that stood firm to their word and voted against this tobacco tax increase. ATR will be educating Texas taxpayers on how their representatives in Austin vote on this important matter.