Texas has done better economically and fiscally than most states during the past 15 years. However, one area that still needs improvement is consistently controlling the state’s budget growth. Since all government spending must ultimately be paid for by taxation, limiting budget increases is essential for a competitive economy that supports prosperity.
The 2016-17 total budget of $209.1 billion is up 68.5% since the 2004-05 budget. Comparatively, the key metric of population growth plus inflation compounded over time is up an estimated 51% during this period. Adjusting the total budget for this key metric shows that total budget growth is up 11.8% above the pace of compounded population growth plus inflation since the 2004-05 budget. This excessive increase has burdened Texans with higher taxes and fees to sustain elevated spending levels and slowed economic growth.