Otto speaks toCalifornia delegation
Big Thicket Messenger - December 2007
State Representative John Otto (R-Dayton) recently met with members of the California Republican Caucus to discuss how Texas is dealing with tax and economic development issues.
The California group contacted Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick asking if they could meet with elected leaders in Texas who are experts in various fields of interest. When they asked about the issue of taxes, Speaker Craddick did not hesitate to call Representative Otto.
“Basically, they wanted to know how we went about lowering the school property tax rate by 1/3 and what considerations we made when changing the State’s franchise tax to accomplish this property tax reduction,” said Representative Otto. “We discussed how important it was to attract capital to a State, because that results in job growth, and that capital can leave a State whose tax structure and regulatory environment penalizes capital investment. This group of legislators was familiar with the largest cheese manufacturer investment. This group of legislators was familiar with the largest cheese manufacturer in the U.S. and their daily operation (with over 2,000 jobs) that had relocated from California to the Texas panhandle as a result of regulatory and tax issues.”
“It’s a good idea what they are doing,” said Representative Otto. “You can learn a lot from other states’ successes. Now, not every situation is the same, and there is some adjustment for your state’s specific situation, but in general, this kind of information exchange is very helpful. It also gave us the chance to hear what they’re doing – which policies have, or have not been successful.”
The meeting highlights a better year for Representative Otto, as his interim policy study sessions continue to meet. He serves as Vice Chairman of the Budgets and Revenue Committee of the National Conference of State Legislature ((NCSL), as a member of the House Select Committee on Higher and Public Education Finance, and as a member of The Energy Council. Additionally, the House Appropriations Committee, on which he serves, has recently announced their interim study topics for 2008.