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Wednesday, April 23, 1997
Tax plan would save millions for Bush partner
AUSTIN (AP) - A school tax overhaul pending in the House -
and supported by Gov. George W. Bush - would save the governor's
billionaire business partner at least $2.5 million in property
taxes, the Houston Chronicle reported today.
The newspaper, in a copyright story, reported that Crescent
Real Estate Equities, owned by Richard Rainwater, Bush's business
partner and a top campaign contributor, also would be excluded
from an expansion of the state business tax.
Crescent owns and manages more than 13 million square feet
of commercial office space in Texas, according to the Chronicle.
Through a blind trust, Bush owns 4,220 shares of stock in Crescent
- worth $105,000 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange - according
to a federal report.
For more than a year, Bush has pushed the idea of cutting local
school property taxes. He has said the rising taxes are making
it more difficult for Texans to buy and keep their own homes.
The governor earlier this year proposed a plan to create a
new business tax, increase the sales tax and use more than $1
billion in additional state funds to pay for a roughly $3 billion
annual cut to local school taxes.
A House committee last week approved its own plan expanding
the current business tax, increasing some taxes and adding to
the list of goods and services subject to the sales tax.
The bill is awaiting House action that was delayed until Wednesday.
Karen Hughes, a spokeswoman for the governor, said Bush has
not discussed details of the tax plan with Rainwater, who gave
$100,000 to Bush's 1994 election campaign.
"If you are asking whether the plan was constructed to
benefit any of Governor Bush's business interests, the answer
is not only no, but unequivocally no," she said. "We
resent the question.
"This is a plan he developed at considerable political
risk because it is good for the homeowners of Texas, and it will
cost him personally additional taxes." Send a Letter to
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Abilene Reporter-News / Texnews / E.W. Scripps Publications
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