AUSTIN— Today, Comptroller Glenn Hegar released state sales tax numbers for April 2020 showing a 9.3 percent reduction from 2019 and also indicated that next month’s numbers will likely show an even steeper decline.
As sales tax revenues are a primary funding source for the state of Texas, the need to tighten the state budget becomes even more clear, especially as a surge in unemployment benefits will be costly and the price for oil continues to remain at historic lows.
“Today’s news wasn’t unexpected but reinforces how important it is for the state to cut spending where it can,” said Talmadge Heflin, TPPF’s director for the Center for Fiscal Policy. “Additionally, the state should avoid any schemes to increase taxes in order to make up the shortfall as increased tax burdens will only slow our state’s recovery and prevent Texans from getting back to work.”
Heflin is an authoritative voice on this topic. A former state representative, he served as chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations in the 78th Legislative Session and navigated a $10 billion state budget shortfall without a tax increase. During his time at TPPF, he has been a champion of the Conservative Texas Budget which calls for limiting spending growth to no more than population plus inflation.