Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst recently announced that the state legislature is looking for ways to amend Texas’ new business tax to enable more employers to provide health benefits for their employees.
Only 31 percent of small businesses in Texas offer employee health plans compared to 43 percent nationwide, according to state officials.
To boost that number, the legislature is considering putting incentives in the state’s new business tax, such as larger tax deductions for companies that offer health care plans.
“Our new, broad-based business tax has given us a platform to be able to go in and provide incentives to companies to provide health care,” Dewhurst said. He asked two Senate committees to examine the possible financial incentives and the cost to the state in tax revenue.
Final note: This appears to be the year that health insurance initiatives are getting serious attention at both the state and federal levels. Look for a renewed push by President Bush for insurance tax credits.