Biennial Revenue Estimate 2016-2017
At the beginning of each regular session of the Texas Legislature, the Texas Constitution requires the Comptroller of Public Accounts to submit a statement showing the state’s financial condition and estimating the revenue it can expect to receive during the next two-year budget period. This Biennial Revenue Estimate (BRE) thus forms the basis of each successive state budget. Legislators must ensure that total appropriations do not exceed the amount predicted to be available in the BRE.
Strong Economy Boosts Revenue Available
for General Spending
Stronger-than-expected economic growth in the last biennium helped produce an estimated $7.5 billion surplus, boosting the amount available for general-purpose spending in 2016-2017 to $113 billion.
Texas Leads National Employment Growth
The shale oil boom helped make Texas the nation’s leading source of new employment in the last biennium. Falling energy prices can be expected to slow job creation, but the state should continue to enjoy moderate economic growth over the next two years.
Sales Tax Collections Increasingly Volatile Over Time
Among Texas’ major revenue sources, the sales tax most closely mirrors the ups and downs of the increasingly volatile state and national economies. Since 2002, Texas has seen four annual declines in sales tax collections, as well as three years in which growth exceeded 10 percent.
Oil Prices Now Dipping Sharply
Oil prices have a major influence on Texas. In recent years oil price swings have become more dramatic, prompting greater volatility in the energy industry and the Texas economy as a whole.