Lawmakers start work under the Dome on Tuesday, but the attention on Monday is on Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, as he releases the biennial revenue estimate for the upcoming state budget cycle.
The BRE is a closely scrutinized figure because it sets out how much revenue is available for budget writers to spend. The BRE’s release also gives Hegar, the state’s revenue collector, the opportunity to give his sense of the overall direction of Texas’ economy based on current collection trends for its most important revenue sources, such as the sales tax, oil and gas severance taxes, the business franchise tax or motor vehicle taxes
Here are some of the questions we have and are looking for answers from Monday’s press conference:
- Comptroller Hegar hinted at year’s end that the state’s cash balance might be higher than the $27 billion that was previously reported. How much higher will it turn out to be?
- How does the risk of a recession impact the revenue forecast for the next fiscal biennium?
- With such a large surplus, what will budget writers choose to do? Do they move to spend it all? Or do they pace themselves, making sound investments but also holding back a portion of the funds to preserve long-term fiscal stability?
We’ll have more to say as soon as the BRE numbers are released, so stay tuned!