Previous Conservative Texas Budget Passed by 84th Texas Legislature
Today the Texas Public Policy Foundation and its allies in the Conservative Texas Budget Coalition at a press conference at the State Capitol called on the 85th Texas Legislature to sustain the momentum for responsible spending. The Coalition proposed three steps: capping the increase in the 2018-19 budget at no more than $218.5 billion based on a 4.5 percent growth in population plus inflation during the last two fiscal years; eliminating the state’s costly business margins tax; and structurally reforming property taxes.
            “We are grateful for the work to limit the size and scope of government by our friends in the Conservative Texas Budget Coalition,” said the Honorable Talmadge Heflin, director of the Center for Fiscal Policy at TPPF. “These efforts to limit an increase in government spending to no more than population growth plus inflation, eliminating the onerous business franchise tax, increasing budget transparency, and more should help legislators meet the needs of Texans in a fiscally responsible way.”
            “The Conservative Texas Budget limits increases in the budget to no more than $147.5 billion in state funds and $218.5 billion in all funds,” said Vance Ginn, Ph.D., economist in the Center for Fiscal Policy at TPPF. “These limits are based on a 4.5 percent increase in population growth plus inflation during the previous two fiscal years. By limiting government spending to just meeting the needs of Texans, legislators can do more to increase the entrepreneurial spirit and job creation in Texas.”
            “On behalf of our 167,000 activists across the state, we are very excited to work with the House, Senate, and Governor to deliver meaningful property tax relief,” said Jerome Greener, state director of Americans for Prosperity – Texas. “Every year, all Texans feel the burden of increasing property taxes whether through the cost of rent or through owning property. Tying future increases to population growth plus inflation, while also reforming the petition gathering process will allow taxpayers to determine just how much government they want and are willing to pay for. Together, we can ensure Texas remains an economic leader.”
            “Texas has distinguished itself as the economic envy of the nation due to its adherence to the principles of limited government, low taxation, and individual liberty,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “By following the guidance of the Conservative Texas Budget, lawmakers will ensure the Lone Star State remains a national model for sound governance and pro-growth fiscal policy that lawmakers in other state capitals, as well as Washington, D.C., can seek to emulate.”
            "Texas legislators should focus on the Conservative Texas Budget's criteria by reining in spending and strengthening the constitutional spending limit so taxes can be lower and economic activity higher than otherwise," said Andrew P. Nehring, state policy and government affairs manager at Citizens Against Government Waste.
            “Property taxes in Texas are costly and rising at an alarming rate, and we've seen businesses close because they can't afford to pay them,” said Brendan Steinhauser co-founder and managing director of Liberty Action Texas. “Texas can and should do better by lowering property taxes, and asking for voter approval for any future increases.” 
            “Increasing Texas’ state spending to only account for population growth and inflation will pay off in terms of higher rates of economic growth and job creation,” said Joe Barnett, senior director of policy research at the National Center for Policy Analysis.
            "National Taxpayers Union supports efforts to keep government spending from outpacing taxpayers' ability to pay for it,” said Clark Packard, counsel and government affairs manager at the National Taxpayers Union. “That's why we support the Conservative Texas Budget Coalition's target of limiting the growth in the Lone Star State's budget to no greater than the rate of population growth plus inflation."
            "Our America Initiative is a national organization which supports government that is transparent, responsive, and frugal with its taxpayer’s funds,” said Matt Miller, Ph.D., advisory board member of Our America Initiative. “The proposals of the Conservative Texas Budget Coalition reflect these ideals and we encourage the Texas legislature to adopt these measures."
            “The spending restraint showed by the legislature in 2015 is already paying off, giving the state a cushion against falling revenues from oil and gas and other economic forces,” said Josiah Neeley, senior fellow and southwest region director at the R Street Institute. “We don't know what the next two years will bring, but continued fiscal discipline is the best way to protect our state for whatever the future holds.”
            “Young Conservatives of Texas has always supported sensible and financially responsible fiscal policy,” said Caroline Chadwick, chair of Young Conservatives of Texas. “We have long supported budgets that only grow at or below the rate of both population and inflation. We support the Conservative Texas Budget as it does both.” 
The Conservative Texas Budget Coalition includes Texas Public Policy Foundation, Liberty Action Texas, Americans for Prosperity (Texas), Americans for Tax Reform, National Center for Policy Analysis, Young Conservatives of Texas, NFIB Texas, R Street Institute, Our America Initiative, Texas Eagle Forum, State Budget Solutions, Heritage Alliance, Citizens Against Government Waste, and National Taxpayers Union. 
For more information about the Conservative Texas Budget, please visit:
The Honorable Talmadge Heflin is Director of the Center for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Vance Ginn, Ph.D. is an Economist in the Center for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. 

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.

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