Tax revenue continues to be down from where it was a year ago, but online consumer spending, together with state budget cuts continue to cushion the economic blow in the state, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said.
Sales tax revenue is the main source of tax dollars for Texas, which is among a handful of states without a state income tax.
“While it has been negative on a month-to-month basis compared to the same month, the year prior [it] has not been as negative as we anticipated,” Hegar told Texas Standard .
Weak spots continue to be the hotel and travel sectors as well as the oil and gas industry.
Still, thanks to revisions to the state’s budget last summer, government agency cutbacks, and continued consumer spending, Texas’ economic picture is not as bad as it is for other states.
“We’re on a much better pace here in Texas than we anticipated,” Hegar said.
Still, state lawmakers currently in session will have to make tougher calls on what will be priority policies this year because of the smaller budget.
“It’s not like two years ago where we had a significant carryover balance from one two-year budgeting cycle to the next,” Hegar said. “The main message is, be very prudent, be cautious with the spending. However, with that, we’re not in the situation that we were in 2011 or 2003 where we entered into the legislative cycle with a very large budget deficit.”