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June 5, 2014

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs Honors State Representative Byron Cook with True Texas Hero Award

(AUSTIN) —Texas Comptroller Susan Combs awarded State Rep. Byron Cook with a True Texas Hero Award for his leadership in authoring two bills passed by the Texas Legislature that have helped the state gain more than $523 million in tax revenue.

Cook authored two bills, one passed by the 2007 Texas Legislature and the other passed by the 2011 Texas Legislature, requiring electronic reporting for all wholesale alcohol and tobacco sales. These bills — both numbered House Bill 11 — made it easier for the Comptroller to identify and investigate retailers who either under-collected sales tax or collected sales taxes but failed to remit the proceeds to the state.

“As the state’s Chief Financial Officer, I want to personally thank Chairman Cook for all of his efforts associated with this landmark legislation,” Combs said. “His dedication to preserving the state’s financial resources has allowed the Legislature to direct those savings to the critical needs of Texas.”

HB 11 data, which has been collected since January 2008, allows the Comptroller to compare the purchases retailers have made of these products with the sales retailers are required to report. Because both sets of data are largely received electronically, discrepancies can be more easily and rapidly identified. Rapid identification is essential so Comptroller auditors can begin their work to mitigate and recoup the revenue loss to the state. Since fiscal 2009, the Comptroller's office has identified more than $523 million due to the state.

Cook was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2002 and represents House District 8, which includes Anderson, Freestone, Hill and Navarro counties.

“I am honored to be recognized by Comptroller Combs,” Cook said. “This bill has proved to be an important step in recapturing funds owed to the state and allowed us to better serve the needs of Texans.”

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