Texas Budget Forecast Better Than Expected
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar delivered some better than expected news on Monday when he reported that Texas lawmakers will actually have more money to work with than expected when the legislature meets in January.
Earlier in the year, Hegar warned lawmakers that the coronavirus pandemic along with oil and gas prices would have a dire impact on the state's budget moving forward. In July, Hegar wrote to lawmakers that the state's current two-year budget was projected to be $11.5 billion less that originally thought. Hegar also projected a deficit of $4.6 billion in July.
According to the Texas Tribune, taxes related to alcohol, hotel occupancy, and oil and gas were down "more than 40% in the same period this year compared to last".
The good news? Sales tax collections. Texans are spending money in Texas and people outside of Texas are still coming in to Texas for vacation.
According to Hegar, sales tax revenues fell by 4.8% in the second half of the 2020 fiscal year. However, that hit wasn't as bad as expected and Hegar credited Texans who were staying home and spending money on "stay-cations" rather than out of state vacations.
Hegar did not give a final figure on how much the legislature will have for the next two year budget cycle as that number will come out closer to the beginning of the 87th Texas Legislative Session which is scheduled to begin on January 12, 2021.
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