The Facts

  • Zero-based budgeting is one of five basic types of budgeting processes.
  • Texas last used zero-based budgeting in its truest form in 2003.
  • Zero-based budgeting results in a more thorough analysis of the entire budget, rather than just consideration of the amount of spending above or below the baseline.
  • Zero-based budgeting is hard and time-consuming for both lawmakers and budget administrators.



  • The State of Texas should adopt zero-based budgeting to ensure taxpayers get the most value for the programs and departments they fun.
  • Because zero-based budgeting is more difficult than traditional budgeting, it is hard to sustain; therefore lawmakers may want to consider applying this comprehensive budget tool to about one-third of the budget every biennium. For instance, education in one session, health and welfare in the next, and then all other budget items.