State Budgets: Texas Faces Calls to Spend Surplus

December 26, 2008

Halfway through the $170 billion 2008-09 biennial budget, Texas officials are now estimating a $2 billion surplus (down from earlier estimates of as much as $11 billion), plus $9 billion in a rainy day fund and $3 billion set aside for property tax relief. The new and problematic gross receipts margins tax is collecting $1 billion less than expected, but the sales tax is bringing in $1 billion more. As lawmakers convene on January 13 for their first legislative sitting since May 2007, they will be facing calls for additional spending on a variety of programs, including Gov. Rick Perry (R)’s request for a new movie incentive program.

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