Texas

In Texas, All State Agencies Asked To Pare Budgets Due To COVID-19

During the coronavirus pandemic, states have struggled with staggering revenue losses and budget shortfalls. Here’s what is happening in Texas.

This story is part of an NPR nationwide analysis of states’ revenue and budgets during the pandemic.

Texas state revenues have taken a serious beating, thanks largely to falling sales tax revenue since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

The past few months have seen year-over-year sales tax revenue declines. Other revenue sources affected by COVID-19, including taxes on motor fuel, hotel occupancy and alcoholic beverages, have also experienced double-digit drops.

The crash in oil prices sent oil production tax receipts down a whopping 77% June 2020, compared with June 2019, with natural gas production receipts down 84%.

“The drops we’ve seen in some of our revenue sources … those are bigger drops than we’ve ever seen, at least on a month-to-month basis,” said Tom Currah, chief revenue estimator with the Texas comptroller’s office.

All state agencies have been asked to pare their budgets by 5% for the two-year budget cycle. That translates to about 8.5% cuts in what’s left of the cycle.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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