Susan Duclos - The fact that a few days ago Texas announced it saw a budget surplus of $8.8 billion under the conservative leadership of Governor Rick Perry and the implementation of conservative economic policies, should have received some attention, but other than a couple very brief mentions in the mainstream media, not many people saw the news or delved too deeply into the meaning of it.
Remember how conservatives continue to say that we don't need to raise taxes, we need new tax payers. In other words, if you put people to work, there are more paying into the tax system and therefore revenues go up without any hikes in rates.
The Texas Legislature will have 12.4 percent more revenue to spend in the next two budget years thanks to higher-than-expected tax collections boosted by economic growth, state Comptroller Susan Combs projected on Monday.
"Texas experienced a very strong rebound from a severe recession," said Combs, who issued her biennial revenue estimate a day before the Texas Legislature convenes.
Texas has a two-year budget cycle and lawmakers will craft a 2014-2015 budget during the session, which ends May 27.
Combs forecast revenue of $101.4 billion - which the comptroller says is 12.4 percent greater than corresponding funds available for the current budget cycle - including $8.8 billion expected to remain at the end of the 2012-2013 budget cycle.
The state's general revenue collections are projected to be $96.2 billion, $3.6 billion of which would be set aside for the state's rainy-day fund.