My friends on the Left speak frequently of the need to raise taxes and fees, as if Texas had a revenue problem. But a quick look at the data suggests that revenues are not the issue.
In 1977, Texas’ state and local governments consumed 7.91 percent of the state’s economy. In 2010, the state-local tax burden remained at essentially the same level, 7.93 percent, according to the Tax Foundation.
Although this runs contrary to the meme that we’ve “cut government to the bone,” the data is clear: Texas’ state and local governments are consuming just as much of the economy as they have in the past. What’s more, the state-local tax burden is actually on the rise, increasing from 7.2 percent of the economy in 2000. That means that, over the course of 10 years, government in Texas expanded to consume 10 percent more as a share of the economy—hardly the picture of austerity some would like to paint.
It’s data like this that lawmakers should be cognizant of before toying with the idea of new and higher taxes and fees. Because, clearly, Texas does not have a revenue problem.