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The Nation

July 22, 1987

The Texas Legislature, nearing the end of a special session, approved the biggest tax hike in the state's history after falling oil revenues left the state $6.5 billion in debt. The Texas House approved a $38.5-billion budget and a tax bill that will cost Texans $5.7 billion extra over the next two years. Lawmakers balked at passing a state income tax or other heavy taxes on business or industry. Instead, they voted to raise sales taxes to 6 cents from 5.25 cents on the dollar and to extend it to everything from garbage collection to long distance telephone calls. They also passed a $110 a year occupational tax on professionals such as doctors, lawyers and accountants and made permanent a 15-cent per gallon gasoline tax.

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