Tony R. Bertolino is the managing partner at Bertolino LLP with law offices located in Austin, Houston and San Antonio, Texas. A member of the Trial and Appellate Litigation Team, Mr. Bertolino’s practice is devoted largely to complex transactions, commercial litigation, business law, entertainment law and family law matters. You can read more about Mr. Bertolino at http://www.belolaw.com
Across the country, governors have traditionally headed to their respective state houses to reflect on past year's accomplishments and challenges as well as their plans for the new year. Texas Governor Rick Perry took his turn at the podium and delivered his State of the State address to the Legislature. As the governor prepares for a tough re-election bid next year, he was determinedly cautious in the proposals he set forth. He did not share many details about the current economic conditions in our state, which received immediate criticism from his Democratic opponents. However, there certainly were some ideas in his speech that should be highlighted for their possible legal impact on the residents of Texas.
Are you reorganizing your personal or business finances as you figure out how to send your child to college? Governor Perry has proposed freezing tuition for four years of a student's education. So, at least you would know the price you are paying as a freshman will be the same you can expect to budget for the senior year. As Perry explains, "This will help Texas families plan while giving students another incentive to finish on time." This change could impact your taxes, child support, and other financial matters that have a legal component.
If you are a business owner, you may be interested in learning more about the incentives that the governor has in mind for you. He wants to raise the business tax exemption to $1 million from the current $300,000 in gross receipts. This tax on gross receipts was established in 2006 and received a great deal of criticism from small business owners. In addition, the governor asked the legislature for $260 million in additional funds to further his Texas Enterprise Fund, which encourages businesses to relocate to Texas. With one of the strongest job growth rates among states in this tough economy, Texas certainly should already be appealing to employers who are looking for some sense of stability during these difficult times.
These proposals are just a few examples of the ideas that the governor and legislature have in mind for our state, and I am certain that we will be detailing others over the next few months. Hopefully they will be able to assist with the wide variety of legal changes that may be facing Texans in 2009. That is why they were elected. To make sure your family, your business and your home are adapting to the changes as needed. Governor Perry said it best during his Address when he stated, “[a]s we are told in Scripture, ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.’ And reap that harvest we shall…and we shall reap it together. Because, ladies and gentlemen, the State of our State is good. Her character is strong and her people are great, and I believe now, more than ever before, that our best days are yet to come. May God bless you and, through you, may He continue to bless the great state of Texas.” http://www.belolaw.com