Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar has revised his revenue estimates for the current biennium, resulting in extra funds available to the Legislature, who will have to choose whether to use the surplus revenue for growing government or to help give taxpayers meaningful property tax relief.
In a letter addressed to Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, and members of the Legislature, Hegar states that he now expects an extra $518 million in revenue, based on estimated revenue collections this year.
“This estimate does not account for any appropriations made by the 86th Legislature; nor does it make any adjustments for legislation that may affect revenue collections,” Hegar warned in his letter.
Hegar had previously estimated the state’s surplus revenue at $9.2 billion; the extra funds bring that number closer to $10 billion.
Of course, how that money is spent, or not spent, falls squarely on the state Legislature, who has passed budgets and spending bills that have largely wiped out the surplus revenue with crumbs given back to taxpayers in the form of property tax relief.
As conference committees meet in the last weeks of the legislative session to finalize those bills, taxpayers will continue to watch to see whether lawmakers will grow government or give them their money back.