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Phil Stephenson, a Certified Public Accountant and former Republican County Chairman, is dedicated to the examination of waste and fraud in government. As the only practicing CPA in the Texas House, he brings a much needed business and financial perspective to state financials. He presently serves on the Pensions, Investments and Financial Services Committee and Corrections. His past committee appointments have been Ways and Means and Government Efficiency and Reform, as well as Vice Chair of IFS and Chairman of Bond Indebtedness.
Stephenson was first elected State Representative of House District 85 in 2012. He has served without interruption to the present. House District 85 includes all of Jackson and Wharton counties and south Fort Bend.
Phil Stephenson has been a practicing Certified Public Accountant with his own firm since 1976. After graduating in 1969 from Texas Tech, Stephenson moved to Dallas after he was hired by a national firm. In 1974 Stephenson relocated to Wharton, where three years later he opened his own practice. He and his late wife Barbara, raised their two children, Scott and Allison (both CPA’s), in Wharton County. In November of 2019 he married his wife Sue Stephenson
In addition to the complex matters of state financing, Stephenson’s focus has been on shoring up unfunded liabilities in public retirement, particularly teacher retirement. Reducing property taxes is also a top priority. Stephenson filed legislation in 86th legislature to subsidize a healthy portion of school property taxes on residential homesteads with sales tax. Stephenson had a major legislative victory in the 86th legislature with HB 191, which establishes a statewide collection program for dangerous agricultural chemicals.
Phil Stephenson’s interest in his community is not limited to politics alone. Elected to the Wharton County Jr. College Board of Trustees in 1996 (retiring in 2012 as Vice-Chair), Phil Stephenson was instrumental in the explosive growth of the college; which now sports three satellite campuses, including a partnership with the University of Houston in Sugar Land.
Phil is for meaningful property tax relief. As the only practicing CPA in the Texas House he understands that the main culprit in skyrocketing property taxes is school tax. School tax is made up of two components: Interest and Sinking Fund (bonded debt), and maintenance and operations (M&O). In the 86th Legislature Phil filed HB 3793, a bill that would in effect subsidize M&O taxes with exempt sales and use taxes. If passed, it would have significantly reduced property taxes for residential homesteads.
Phil believes that education is the foundation of prosperity, which is why he was an advocate of HB 3, which passed into law in the 86th Legislature. HB 3 is transformational school finance reform, devoting 4.5 billion to education reforms, 2 billion for dynamic teacher pay raises, and reducing recapture (Robin Hood) by 3.6 billion.
Agriculture is the second largest economic driver in the state of Texas. In the 86th Legislature Phil passed HB 191, an Ag pesticide disposal program. By establishing collection sites around the state, the program allows Ag producers to dispose of dangerous, unused, expired, or unwanted chemicals lawfully and at no charge to the producer. The program is paid for by Pesticide Registration Fees, paid by pesticide manufacturers.
Need more information on where Phil stands on the issues? Feel free to contact the campaign at any time!