Saturday, May 23, 2015
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Lost & Found

Lost: Bi-fold 7.5 foot aluminum ramp, May 4 after 6:30 p.m., Hwy. 97 W. between Pecan Park and FM 478, Floresville. Reward. Call 210-601-1605, 830-393-2352.

VideoLOST!!! Black and white long haired cat. Missing since May 17th from the Vintage Oaks subdivision. If found please call (210)288-3033
Lost: 2 dogs, red mixed breed, last seen on 6th St. near skate park in Floresville. Large reward! If found or seen call 210-995-3800 or 210-249-1836. 
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Oilfield Service Company in Floresville looking for general labor positions specializing in frac pit liners and Class A CDL drivers. Labor intensive, some travel required, varying schedules. Prior experience in oilfield a plus. Competitive pay depending on experience, health benefits offered. Come work for a growing company. Apply online at www.mustangenergyservices.com or in person at 105 Rancho Grande off F.M. 537, Floresville.
Help wanted, CDL required, welding experience a plus, good pay with benefits, yards located in Leesville and Beeville. Michael, 817-253-2948. 
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›

Commentaries


The Economist: Texas’ Budget Surplus




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story

Disclaimer:
The author of this entry is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
Dr. M. Ray Perryman
January 10, 2013 | 3,067 views | Post a comment

The State of Texas has a budget surplus, thanks primarily to the strong economic recovery (with a huge assist from the energy sector). In addition to this “money in the bank,” legislators will have more dollars to spend as they craft the 2014-15 budget based on projected revenues which will be flowing into State coffers over the next two years.

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts is charged with the task of presenting an estimate of available revenue for the upcoming biennium to the Legislature and Governor. On January 7, Comptroller Susan Combs indicated that revenue available for general purpose spending would total $101.4 billion for 2014-15.

Part of this amount is the money left over from last time; the estimated ending balance for 2012-13 was $10.5 billion. About $8.8 billion of that is available to use after setting aside $1.7 billion from last year’s oil and gas production tax revenue for the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF, commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund) as required by the Texas Constitution.

Expected collections come to $96.2 billion, with almost $54.9 billion from sales taxes. Another $7.9 billion stems from motor vehicle sales and rental taxes, and almost $5.6 billion from the franchise tax. Together, oil and natural gas production taxes add up to $7.1 billion. Some $3.6 billion of the total collected is slated for the ESF based on collections during the 2014-15 biennium. These numbers could be adjusted in either direction as the session wears on, but not by a large amount.

Other money flows through the State system (like federal funds which come in, and are dedicated for various purposes), but the $101.4 billion is the amount that will be spread across the spectrum of State agencies and programs largely at the discretion of the Legislature.

To put the $101.4 billion in perspective, it’s a notable jump from January 2011, when predicted collections were $77.3 billion, and a down economy had left a shortfall from the prior two years of $4.3 billion. Lawmakers were left with just $72.2 billion to spend. While that number did edge up a little as the economy began to turn around during the spring of 2011 and the Comptroller revised the likely revenue figures, substantial cuts to programs and gimmicks were used to balance the budget.

These projections of revenues and expenses are, of course, fraught with difficulties. They are driven by business activity, and a swing in the economy can shift both revenues and expenses. Moreover, they tend to move in opposite directions to some extent, with bad times both reducing revenue and increasing the need for certain services. As a result, there is an overarching theme of caution in the minds of many. The Comptroller puts it this way: “we’d all do well to remember the dramatic drop in revenues that occurred during the recession just as we recognize the dramatic sharp increase that has happened recently.”

It’s hard to argue with that. As a forecaster from way back, I am all too aware of the pitfalls and the need for responsible spending. Even so, leaders are justifiably more optimistic this time around, with pledges by some to get more money into schools and other services which were hit hardest by the 2011 cuts. Others prefer tax cuts, which is politically popular but likely economically imprudent given the fundamental structural flaws in the tax structure (which were masked this year by the incredible resurgence in the energy sector) and the extreme volatility in recent years.

Although intense budget debate is a virtual certainty even with a little more breathing room, the fiscal situation is clearly better than what we faced in 2011. Setting aside funds for inevitable business cycles is an idea with merit, but it should be balanced against investing in the future of the state. It makes little sense to underfund key priorities such as education, water, infrastructure, and health care, for example, which have the potential to pay for themselves in terms of prosperity down the road. The economic interests of Texas (both today and in the decades to come) are best served by policy which is fiscally responsible, yet realistic and mindful of long-term interests.

Perryman is President and Chief Executive Officer of The Perryman Group (www.perrymangroup.com). He also serves as Institute Distinguished Professor of Economic Theory and Method at the International Institute for Advanced Studies.
 
‹ Previous Blog Entry
 

Your Opinions and Comments


Be the first to comment on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Commentaries Archives


Commentaries
Commentaries page govtrack.us
Commentaries who represents me?
auto chooserAllstate & McBride RealtyVoncille Bielefeld homeHeavenly Touch homeTriple R DC ExpertsPulse Research expires 6/30/15

  Copyright © 2007-2015 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.