But here’s one important fact that Texas’ conservative and libertarian boosters reliably fail to mention (perhaps because they don’t know it): If you’re not rich, Texas is not actually a low-tax state. In fact, most Texans pay more taxes than most Californians. That seems strange and incorrect at first — Texas doesn’t even have an income tax! — but it’s true. Thanks to sales and property taxes, Texas is among the states with the ten most regressive tax systems. Texans in the bottom 60 percent of income distribution all pay higher effective tax rates than their Californian counterparts. Texas’ top one-percent are the ones enjoying the supposed low-tax utopia, paying an effective rate of 3.2 percent. The rate for the lowest 20 percent is 12.6 percent. Kevin Drum has a helpful chart.
This is why many very rich Texans have hundred of millions to piss away on politicians, they don’t pay that money in Taxes.
We also see the regressive tax situation hit reality in the toll road expansion. Because the wealthy can pay less in taxes than they pay in political donations, everyone else has to pay for the highways. This means a net cash flow out of Texas, on an ongoing basis, and adds to the costs incurred by workers while saving businesses money.
Which is to say…exactly what the article does.