$8.2 Billion Is Still Not A Surplus

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Eva DeLuna Castro /(512) 320-0222 x 103

April 18, 2006

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As the third special session of the 79th Legislature began yesterday, the Comptroller of Public Accounts revised the revenue estimate for the 2006-07 biennium, informing legislators that Texas could receive $8.2 billion more in General Revenue than is currently authorized to be spent. (Of this amount, $2.5 billion would be set aside for a constitutionally required transfer to the Rainy Day Fund.) This Policy Page explains why unused GR is so much higher than the $4.3 billion estimated in February 2006. It also explains why even $8.2 billion in unallocated revenue isn’t enough to make significant long-term reductions in local school property taxes, cover supplemental budget needs through August 2007, rebuild the state’s “rainy day fund”, and leave enough room for future revenue growth to adequately fund other state priorities such as higher education, health care, and public safety.