"In my estimate is in the change in the controller's estimate of property value growth means that the stateÎ¾is going toÎ¾have to put in 300 million dollars more in the current fiscal year than was originally expected."
Another budget concern, the sagging oil market has chipped away at the state's permanent school fund.Î¾ That could meanÎ¾more than a billion dollars the state was counting on to pay forÎ¾school textbooks will have to come from general revenue. Although State Senator Steve Ogden says theÎ¾Texas is still not in bad shape.
"The glass is half full here. We are not broke. We are not facing draconian cuts.Î¾ The only question is whether we're going to substantially increase funding in various areas of state governmentÎ¾ or not.Î¾ But we'll be able to maintain — under every scenario I've seen—Î¾at least what we are doing now."
The cautionary, but not panicky demeanor at the Capitol comes in large part from sales tax revenue continue to grow.Î¾ And sales tax receipts pay for more than half of the state budget.Î¾
RJ DeSilvaÎ¾is a spokesmanÎ¾for Texas Comptroller Susan Combs.
Î¾"So far, in this current fiscal year, there has been growth. Maybe not as much growth as we've seen in the past few years. But there has been about four percent in the sales taxÎ¾revenue."
And as long as that revenueÎ¾continues to grow, so could the budget.Î¾ Current house appropriations chair, Republican Warren Chisum says he believes the state will have a budget five percent larger than the current biennium. Senator Odgen hopes Representative Chisum is right.
"I'm operating under the assumption, right now, that I have to produce a budget with zero growth, so if it's five we areÎ¾home free."
Sales tax and revenue projections get much clearer Monday. That's whenÎ¾Comptroller Combs releasesÎ¾herÎ¾budget revenue estimate.Î¾ The projectionÎ¾will tell lawmakers how muchÎ¾money theyÎ¾have to spend in the 2010-2011 budget.