A Texas state representative has introduced a bill providing tax incentives to encourage marriage and family formation in the Lone Star State.

Texas Rep. Bryan Slaton has introduced HB 2889 which provides families with property tax relief based on the size of their family. The bill provides the tax credits for families with both biological and adopted children.

Only men and women who are legally married, and have not been divorced, may qualify for the credit.

Married couples will receive a 10% deduction on their property taxes. Then, the credit jumps to 40% for couples with four or more children. The credit increases by 10% per additional child.

“Supporting Texas means supporting Texas families,” said Rep. Slaton. “Strong families are the backbone and building blocks of society. We must support families by making it financially easier for them to have and raise children in a supportive and nurturing way.”

In a press release, Rep. Slaton noted that a myriad of studies show that children do better when raised by a married mother and father.

“Many studies have shown that children tend to have enhanced ‘wellbeing and development,’ and tend to avoid developmental, academic, and behavioral problems when raised by both parents in a stable marriage,” the press release noted.

Rep. Slaton also cited “falling birthrates,” as a reason for the legislation. Indeed, the United States is currently below the 2.1 “replacement rate” needed for each generation to replace itself. The fertility rate in the U.S. is currently 1.64 births per woman.

Policies similar to HB 2889 have been implemented in nations such as Hungary and Poland, where they have begun the process of reversing their declining birth rates, and are helping to foster thriving families,” the press release noted.

The Daily Citizen has previously chronicled how Hungary’s pro-family government policies have fostered family formation.

Hungary’s policies include:

  • A three-year suspension of student loan payments for women who have one child, partial cancellation for women with two children and complete cancellation for three children.
  • Six-months of paid family leave for women who have a child with no personal income tax paid.
  • A $30,000 grant for young married couples towards the purchase of a home.

Since these pro-family government policies have been enacted in 2010, Hungary has seen a remarkable reversal of its marriage and fertility decline:

  • The Hungarian fertility rate had fallen every year since the country was communist until 2010, when it suddenly reversed and has gone up every year, rising 27% through 2021.
  • The number of marriages in 2010 was 35,000. The number of marriages in 2021 was 72,000, an over 100% increase.
  • The number of divorces in 2010 was 24,000. That dropped to 18,000 in 2021.
  • The number of abortions per year has collapsed by 50%.

Since Rep. Slaton introduced HB 2889, predictably, left-wing activists have been up in arms, angry that the bill “excludes LGBTQ couples.”

But that charge misses the entire point of the legislation.

It may not be politically correct to point out, but it’s true nonetheless, that homosexual couples are inherently sterile. Two men cannot produce a baby, neither can two women.

Leftists may counter that homosexual couples could produce a child through modern technology, as through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy. However, as the representative pointed out, children do best when raised by a married mother and father, not to mention the myriad of ethical problems created through IVF and surrogacy.

Children, as future citizens, producers, consumers and creators, are valuable to society writ large. Therefore, it is in society’s best interest to create more of them. And that is why government has an interest in promoting family formation, as it does through tax incentives.

Rep. Slaton added, “With this bill, Texas will start saying to couples: ‘Get married, stay married, and be fruitful and multiply.’”

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After ‘Dobbs,’ Pro-Family Economic Policies Can Incentivize Marriage and Family Formation

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