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Perry Proposes Amending Texas Constitution to Allow State to Return Excess Taxes

Gov. Rick Perry will use his State of the State address to call for amending the Texas Constitution to allow the state to return tax money it collects but doesn't spend back to its citizens.

AUSTIN, Texas -  Gov. Rick Perry will use his State of the State address to call for amending the Texas Constitution to allow the state to return tax money it collects but doesn't spend back to its citizens, according to an excerpt of the speech released to The Associated Press.

Perry, who is scheduled to deliver the speech Tuesday morning to a joint session of the Legislature, will tell lawmakers that he has "never bought into the notion that if you collect more, you need to spend more."

"Today, I'm calling for a mechanism to be put in place so when we do bring in more than we need, we'll have the option of returning tax money directly to the people who paid it," the governor plans to say. "Currently, that's not something our constitution allows. We need to fix that."

The Republican has for weeks called on the Legislature to cut taxes and continue to hold down government spending -- even though Texas' economy is booming. He'll also use the speech to give a specific dollar amount he'd like to see in tax reductions.

Proposing a constitutional amendment requires two-thirds support of both the Texas House and Senate, and it then must be approved by a majority of voters. Republicans control both chambers of the Legislature but would need Democrats to get two-thirds support -- something that seems highly unlikely.

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