By June 5, 2015 Read More →

Texas budget a true conservative document, say supporters

Texas budget analysis by Talmadge Heflin, director, and Vance Ginn, economist, of Center for Fiscal Policy

Before the 2015 Legislative Session, the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the other 14 member organizations of the Conservative Texas Budget Coalition recommended a Texas budget, shown in Chart 1, that increased the budget by no more than population growth plus inflation of 6.5 percent for the next two fiscal years.

Texas budget

Talmadge Heflin, director of Center for Fiscal Policy.

This spending limit was not in statute. This was not in the Constitution. Critics claimed it could not be done.

But through the hard work of state leadership, members of the 84th Texas Legislature, and the Conservative Texas Budget Coalition, tax cuts were the top priority rather than aiming to spend every taxpayer dollar. In the end, this helped to accomplish the task of passing a conservative budget.

Chart 2 presents evidence that both all funds and state funds increase less than 6.5 percent. Specifically, the 2016-17 Texas budget increases all funds by 3.6 percent to $209.4 billion and state funds by 5.8 percent to $141.4 billion.

We applaud the state leadership and the Legislature for passing a conservative Texas budget that is within taxpayers’ ability to support it, avoiding the threat of burdening taxpayers with the expectation of higher future taxes and fees.

Texas budget

Vance Ginn, economist, Center for Fiscal Policy.

The combination of limiting spending to less than the 6.5 percent increase in population growth plus inflation and $4 billion in historic tax and fee reliefprovides an opportunity for all Texans to achieve greater prosperity through fiscally conservative principles.

Texas can prosper under the guide of a stronger spending limit that covers more of the budget based on population growth plus inflation, which the Texas Public Policy Foundation has recommended for years.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said recently that the budget will remain under population growth and inflation while he is in office. That’s terrific news for Texans and another reason to add to the long list of reasons the spending limit should be reformed next session.

It’s a good day to be a Texan and to have the opportunity to prosper from a conservative budget and historic tax relief this session.


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