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May 7, 2013
Texans Can Save Sales Tax on Energy Efficient Appliances

The opportunity for Texans to save money on energy efficient appliances is fast approaching. The state’s annual ENERGY STAR® Sales Tax Holiday is from Saturday, May 25, through Monday, May 27. 

Sound bites are now available from Dub Taylor, Director of the State Energy Conservation Office.

Energy Star#1 :27 “The federal government through the Department of Energy and the EPA test and certify appliances to meet Energy Star standards. That means that on average they’re 10 to 15 percent more energy efficient than a conventional appliance. The appliances that are eligible for the Energy Star sales tax holiday the savings from those ranges anywhere from 10 percent to 75 percent depending on the particular appliance or the product.”

Energy Star#2 :15 “They need to be sure that the product that’s on the shelf has the Energy Star label on it. That indicates that it’s in compliant with the Energy Star testing standards and that it will achieve greater energy efficiency and uses less energy than a conventional appliance or product.”

Energy Star#3 :29 “There are certain Energy Star appliances that also have a water savings component. Clothes washers, for example, save on average, an Energy Star appliance saves on average 20 percent in energy but then 35 percent in water compared to a conventional clothes washer. And an Energy Star dish washer saves 10 percent on energy compared to a conventional dish washer and at the same time it saves 20 percent of water compared to a conventional dish washer.” 

Energy Star#4 :12 “Some savings to be had absolutely  and these are appliances for  the most part that will be with you in your homes for five or 10 or 15 or 20 years and so those savings each year will add up.”  

Energy Star#5 :14 “The purchase has to be made during that three day sales tax holiday period. In the case of a central air conditioner it’s most likely going to be installed at some point later but the transaction and the purchase actually has to occur during that three day period.”

August 20, 2009
Sales Tax Holiday

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs joined Governor Rick Perry at a press conference in Austin. Governor Perry signed HB 1801 and set the stage for the back-to-school Sales Tax Holiday weekend.

Sales Tax Holiday #1 (396 KB) :19 Outcue: “lots of good stuff”
Comptroller Susan Combs:
“New this year is school supplies. We’ve had backpacks before – but school supplies is a big new item – and that’s about a $9 million tax savings alone in that area. But in addition there are things like cowboy boots, always a favorite, and pants and shirts and skirts and lots of good stuff.”

Sales Tax Holiday #2 (252 KB) :12 Outcue: “engine going”
Comptroller Susan Combs:
“Sales tax accounts for about 63 percent of the tax revenue in the state. And so if folks feel good about shopping, it makes an absolute difference. It gets the economic engine going”

Sales Tax Holiday #3 (440 KB) :21 Outcue: “need some help”
Comptroller Susan Combs:
“Two states, Illinois and Florida, cancelled their sales tax holidays. Their states are not in very good shape. And there are about 15 states in the country that have sales tax holidays, and we feel that it was important enough. And I want to say thank you to Representative Bohac and the others for carrying this and the Governor for signing it because families need some help”

December 03, 2008
Government Transparency


Open Book #1 (247 KB) :16 Outcue: “must follow their example”
Comptroller Susan Combs:
“As Texans tighten their belts in this uncertain economic climate, the transparency initiatives we are discussing will allow the state to do the same. Families are cutting their expenses and looking for ways to save and state government must follow their example.”

Open Book #2 (216 KB) :14 Outcue: “That time has come.”
Comptroller Susan Combs:
“I made this push for spending transparency when the economy was percolating and growing knowing that the day would come when we would need to tighten our belt and stretch tax dollars further. That time has come.”

Open Book #3 (345 KB) :22 Outcue: “all levels of government.”
Comptroller Susan Combs:
“For government to be accountable with your money, it must be open. Transparency leads to efficiency. When government operates in the sunshine, agencies have to justify their priorities and expenditures. To ensure that their government is watching their dollars and cents, taxpayers in Texas should be able to review spending at all levels of government.”

Open Book #4 (264 KB) :17 Outcue: “as your Comptroller.”
Comptroller Susan Combs:
“Transparency is important because in the end there is no such thing as government money. It is only taxpayer money in government hands. Making government more transparent, efficient and responsive to citizens remains one of my chief goals as your Comptroller.”

Open Book #5 (156 KB) :10 Outcue: “Lone Star State.”
Comptroller Susan Combs:
“We need to be sure we’re showing the same common sense, resourcefulness and prudence when spending money as the hardworking citizens of the Lone Star State.”

January 15, 2008
Government Transparency &Accountability


Transparency#1 (128 KB) :08 Outcue: “hard earned dollars”
Comptroller Susan Combs:
“It’s great to know that state agencies have embraced the idea that we must better inform taxpayers about how the government spends their hard earned dollars.”

Transparency#2 (159 KB) :10 Outcue: “contact multiple agencies”
Comptroller Susan Combs:
“It’s pretty exciting to know that we’re helping thousands of users examine state expenditures in one place without needing to contact multiple agencies.”

Transparency#3 (122 KB) :07 Outcue: “is being spent”
Comptroller Susan Combs:
Media commentators and watchdog groups, both, have praised the steps that Texas has taken to show citizens how their money is being spent.

Transparency#4 (205 KB) :13 Outcue: “for their own performance”
Comptroller Susan Combs:
“When American taxpayers can see how their tax dollars are being spent and what they get for their money, it makes our government more responsive to the needs of the people and also more responsible for their own performance.”

October 18, 2007
Unclaimed Property


Unclaimed Property#1 (189 KB) :12 Outcue: “quickly as possible.”
Comptroller Susan Combs explains how people can check to see if they have any unclaimed property.
“Well you can easily find out how much, where it came from, and how to get it back just by checking our Unclaimed Property Web site. By the way, you can even print out a claim form and then send that in immediately so you get your money back as quickly as possible.”

Unclaimed Property#2 (220 KB) :14 Outcue: “complex claims.”
Comptroller Susan Combs says the agency has streamlined the claims procedures, making more claims eligible for automated processing.
“What the computer does is it compares the information on the claim forms with the information in our database and if everything matches up then the computer directly authorizes payment. And we found that automating more of these claims frees our staff to work on the more complex claims.”

Unclaimed Property#3 (300 KB) :19 Outcue: “have forgotten”
Comptroller Susan Combs explains what unclaimed property includes.
“Well, it's a lot of things. It might include a dormant bank account, a forgotten utility deposit, a rent deposit, an old uncashed check, unclaimed investment income even securities. We also have family heirlooms maybe from an abandoned safe deposit box or lots of other valuable assets that the original owners have forgotten.”

October 15, 2007
Texas Franchise Tax


Franchise Tax Soundbite#1 (319 KB) :20 Outcue: “January 1, 2008”
RJ DeSilva, Comptroller Spokesperson
“These seminars are a way to introduce taxpayers to their revised Texas franchise tax and also help them learn how to calculate the tax. The seminars will help current franchise tax payers and also about 200,000 new entities that will have to file franchise tax reports for the first time, starting with reports due on or after January 1, 2008. ”

Franchise Tax Soundbite#2 (175 KB) :11 Outcue: “in the state”
RJ DeSilva, Comptroller Spokesperson
“What the revised Texas franchise tax has done is change the tax base and tax rate for the franchise tax and its also extended coverage to most legal entities in the state.”

Franchise Tax Soundbite#3 (366 KB) :23 Outcue: “www.window.state.tx.us”
RJ DeSilva, Comptroller Spokesperson
“These franchise tax seminars are being held all around the state so the best way to get information on where they're being held is to call our toll free number which is 1-800-252-1381. 1-800-252-1381. Or go to the franchise tax page of our Web site which is www.window.state.tx.us.”

September 17, 2007
Texas Franchise Tax


Franchise tax#1 (315 KB) :20 Comptroller spokesperson R.J. DeSilva “A lot of people may be asking what are some of the changes in the Texas franchise tax. Well, the Legislature revised the Texas franchise tax by changing the tax base and the tax rate and basically extending coverage to most legal entities and because of these changes, about 200,000 new entities will have to file a franchise tax report.”

Franchise tax#2 (325 KB) :21 Comptroller spokesperson R.J. DeSilva “For franchise tax reports that are originally due on or after Jan. 1, 2008, taxable entities that make $10 million or less in total revenue can choose an E-Z filing option, which is basically multiplying your portion total revenue by .575 percent or those entities can choose to pay tax on their margin.”

Franchise tax#3 (280 KB) :18 Comptroller spokesperson R.J. DeSilva “All taxable entities that have total revenue of greater than $10 million must pay tax on their margin and margin can be calculated in three different ways. We also want to say that discounts ranging from 20 to 80 percent are available for taxable entities with less than $900,000 in total revenue.”

Franchise tax#4 (313 KB) :20 Comptroller spokesperson R.J. DeSilva “Businesses really need to start familiarizing themselves with the revised Texas franchise tax before that first major filing deadline happens on May 15, 2008 and by the way, there are plenty of experts who are in our offices who can be available to answer questions or help businesses with questions that they have about the new revised franchise tax.”

Franchise tax#5 (296 KB) :19 Comptroller spokesperson R.J. DeSilva “The proposed rules for the revised franchise tax are now published in the Texas Register and the Texas Register is published once a week by the Secretary of State’s office so you can go on the Secretary of State’s office Web site and click on the Texas Register link . After a 30-day public comment period, the rules are expected to be adopted in December.”

August 16, 2007
Comptroller Combs Launches Texas EDGE to Provide Local Governments Information on Economic Data for Growth and Expansion


Edge#1 :24 outcue: "forward slash, Texas EDGE" MP3 (471 KB)
Comptroller spokesperson RJ DeSilva explains what Texas EDGE is all about.

Edge#2 :27 outcue: "forward slash, Texas EDGE" MP3 (451 KB)
Comptroller spokesperson RJ DeSilva explains the type of information available through Texas EDGE.

Edge#3 :28 outcue: "forward slash, Texas EDGE" MP3 (456 KB)
Comptroller spokesperson RJ DeSilva says Texas EDGE will help community and business leaders get the information they need.

Edge#4 :16 outcue: "for different regions" MP3 (498 KB)
Comptroller spokesperson RJ DeSilva says Texas EDGE is easy and free to use.

Script English

July 10, 2007
Comptroller Susan Combs Has Notified the Governor and Legislative Leaders That an Extra $242.7 Million in General Revenue Will be Available For a State Employee Pay Raise


Audio MP3 (481 KB)
Script

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