Texas revenues jump $2.8 billion on strong sales tax collections
AUSTIN — The state economic picture is improving as forecasts now show Texas with $2.8 billion more in revenue than expected, according to a report released Wednesday by the comptroller’s office.
Soaring sales and use tax returns are a big driver, with collections up 10 percent from last year. Similarly, oil and natural gas production tax collections are performing above last years totals.
The additional revenue is a welcome boon at a time when the state is facing future budget challenges, including damage left by Hurricane Harvey.
While celebrating the improving outlook, Comptroller Glenn Hegar also offered a word of caution to legislators, who are set to return to Austin in 2019.
“Though nearly all current economic indicators remain positive and revenue collections have exceeded our previous expectations, there are significant risks to the forecast,” Hegar said in a statement. “A trade war, a withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement or a significant downturn in the price of oil would reduce our potential economic growth. The current outlook, however, is for continued growth through fiscal 2019 for both the economy and state revenue.”
In January, Hegar told lawmakers they may have to fill a $3 billion to $4 billion hole in the current state budget before addressing future fiscal needs.