Today, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar released the report Biennial Revenue Estimate 2018-19 that provides the 85th Texas Legislature with an estimate of revenues available to be appropriated for the upcoming 2018-19 budget. Given the state’s constitution requires a balanced budget, this report sets the stage for how much legislators have available for spending and tax cuts in the 2017 Legislative Session that begins tomorrow.
 
The report notes that the 2018-19 budget will have available $224.9 billion in all funds (state funds and federal funds) and $149.9 billion in state funds. Included in both amounts is an available fund balance of $1.5 billion from the 2016-17 budget. The Conservative Texas Budget Coalition, which includes the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) and 12 other member organizations, has set conservative spending limits on the 2018-19 budget of $218.5 billion in all funds and $147.5 billion in state funds, based on a 4.5 percent increase in population growth plus inflation during the previous two fiscal years.
 
TPPF’s Center for Fiscal Policy Director Talmadge Heflin and Economist Dr. Vance Ginn made the following statements:
 
“The Comptroller’s revenue estimate today notes the importance of the 84th Legislature leaving money on the table, as there remains an expected $1.5 billion fund balance available for the 85th Legislature,” said The Honorable Talmadge Heflin. “By assuring that the 2016-17 budget remains conservative by not appropriating more than a total of $142.3 in state funds, legislators will be well on their way to passing a historic second consecutive conservative budget this session.”
 
“The 84th Legislature shows the benefits of leaving money on the table while passing a budget that included large tax cuts and keeping spending to no more than population growth plus inflation so that the economy has the best chance to grow,” said Dr. Vance Ginn. “This recipe will be an important mix this session to assure that the 2018-19 budget doesn’t increase by more than $218.5 billion based on the 4.5 percent increase in population growth plus inflation.”

To schedule an interview with Mr. Heflin or Mr. Ginn, please contact Caroline Espinosa at cespinosa@texaspolicy.com or 512-472-2700.

 

The Honorable Talmadge Heflin is Director of the Center for Fiscal Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin. In the 78th Session, Heflin served as chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations and navigated a $10 billion state budget shortfall through targeted spending cuts that allowed Texans to avoid a tax increase. He may be reached at theflin@texaspolicy.com.
 
Vance Ginn, Ph.D., is an Economist at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin. He may be reached at vginn@texaspolicy.com.

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

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