Yacht owners, that's who. Luckily Texas legislators have recognized this crisis, and momentarily put aside slashing public education to address the issue.
A House panel has approved a bill that would cap state taxes on any yacht -- even the mega-million two-helicopter jobs -- at $18,000. Because isn't that enough to ask of yacht owners?
"With all due respect, sometimes I'm not sure what planet my Republican colleagues live on," state rep Mike Villarreal said (in a public release that described him as "flabbergasted"). "How can they say tax breaks for yachts are a higher priority than supporting our children's classrooms or keeping nursing homes open?"
The bill was pushed by Houston rep John Davis, who says its intent is not to reward the rich, but to save yacht-making jobs and all those service jobs that come with providing a welcoming atmosphere for yacht buyers. Why, the butler jobs alone will no doubt pay for this tax cut, even if a non-partisan legislative board says it will cost the state $1.4 million a year.
"I filed this bill at the request of one of the economic development groups in my district," Davis said in a written statement when he first introduced it. "The marine industry, from boat sales to maintenance and repairs, is an important economic driver in my district and the Gulf Coast region as a whole. I am committed to working to protect the jobs that go along with it."