Dennis Jansen Discusses Comptroller Estimates, State Budget on KBTX

Jan 14, 2021
Summary: As Texas legislators meet to draft the state’s two-year budget, Dennis Jansen discussed the latest revenue estimates provided by Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar in an interview on KBTX news on Tuesday, January 12, 2021.
The Comptroller’s estimates predict future tax revenues that are then used to draft the state’s budget. The latest estimate includes a nearly $1 billion deficit which state lawmakers must take into account in order to meet Texas’ balanced budget requirement.
Local schools, however, have not had to endure funding cuts. “Basically, schools participate in something called the Foundation School Program and they are guaranteed a certain amount of funding based on enrollments, and on their property tax values, and their property tax rates,” said Jansen.
“Schools that don’t receive what’s considered to be sufficient funding then receive funding from the state and therefore, from state tax revenues, such as the sales tax. This biennium, the property tax rates raised more money than the Comptroller expected, than we estimated, and therefore the state had to spend less money [on schools].”
The Comptroller’s estimate does include a large influx of federal funds. “The state received quite a bit of federal funding from the coronavirus relief bill [that was] passed in the spring of 2020. That was included in the FY 2020 fiscal year, which is over, but those funds then may have led to less spending during that fiscal year. I think relatively, there’s $2 - $3 billion to be received in the current fiscal year. And then on top of that, in the latest release from the Comptroller’s office right before this legislative session, his biennial revenue estimate indicates a substantial receipt of additional federal fiscal expected for this fiscal year, so before August of this year.”
To see the full interview on KBTX, click here.
Read more about the Comptroller and Texas budget, see “The Comptroller and the Texas Budget: A Primer.”