"Next State Budget Begins to Take Shape" by State Rep. J.M. Lozano

Continuing the trend of positive economic news, State Comptroller Glenn Hegar has announced that sales tax collections are up in the state of Texas. That means that Texans are continuing to stimulate the economy, and more funds are available for writing the next state budget.  In fact, the Comptroller increased the revenue projection 2.6%, a whopping figure, provided the size of the state's economy. If these figures hold, lawmakers will have an additional $3 billion to fund state services, highways, schools, and the like.

When the Texas Legislature meets in January of next year, members of the budget writing committees will use this information to figure out what income the state has from taxes and federal funds and what our expenses will be. Texas is one of the few states that does not allow a deficit, so our budget must balance. According to the Texas Constitution, our budget must balance each fiscal year.

Highlighting the strength in the economy, "Texas in particular benefited from rising oil prices and production and the consequent increase in economic activity," wrote Comptroller Hegar in a letter to Governor Greg Abbott. Budget writers will continue to watch these numbers in the last half of 2018, because any change in economic circumstances could impact the next budget. Other factors, like international trade agreements, especially in a border state, could lead to changes in budgetary figures.