This year’s Survey period saw a number of attacks to the state’s various taxing regimes—brought not only by taxpayers but also by taxing authorities—and seemed to preview battles that would play out during the 85th legislative session in 2017. However, following a sustained period of low commodity prices, the legislature had to scramble to find the dollars to cover various priorities in 2017 and spent much of the legislative session debating social issues, such as bathroom etiquette. As predicted by many tax practitioners and other political and legislative insiders, sweeping tax reforms did not materialize during the 85th legislative session. As a result, Texas courts’ continuing focus on statutory construction, and their struggles to balance their own readings of the legislature’s words against the comptroller’s interpretations, are likely to take on increased significance in the short term and possibly for years to come.
Cindy M. Ohlenfrost, et al., Taxation, 3 SMU Ann. Tex. Surv. 445 (2017)