By Paul Emerson, TAC State Financial Analyst
The day before the 83rd Legislature convened, Comptroller Susan Combs released the latest Biennial Revenue Estimate (BRE), which shows that the state is projected to have $101.4 billion available for general purpose spending in the 2014-15 biennium. This reflects an increase of 12.4 percent (or $11.2 billion) over the current two-year budget cycle (2012-13) and is the certification amount the Legislature will be able to spend.
In addition, general-related tax and fee collections are projected to total $96.2 billion for the 2014-15 budget period. Such collections include the state sales, motor fuel and motor vehicle taxes – to name only a few.
The state’s largest tax revenue source is the sales tax, which accounts for more than half its general revenue. The tax is expected to generate $54.9 billion in 2014-15, which is a 9.4 percent (or $4.7 billion) increase from the current biennium.
Other budget projections and key factors include:
- Federal funds are projected to be $112 billion. This will bring the total state budget to $208.2 billion for 2014-15.
- The Economic Stabilization Fund (also known as the Rainy Day Fund) is expected to total almost $11.8 billion. This fund will not reach its constitutional limit ($14.4 billion) as earlier anticipated by the Comptroller’s office.
- The unemployment rate is expected to slowly drop to 6 percent by 2015.
- The state also expects to see a net job growth of 232,000 jobs in 2013, 234,000 in 2014, and 266,000 in 2015.
See further information on the Comptroller’s BRE report. For more information, contact , TAC state financial analyst, at (800) 456-5974.