Yesterday, the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) released the Fiscal Size-Up 2016-17 Biennium that chronicles the $209.1 billion budget the Legislature passed last session.
The Conservative Texas Budget Coalition, comprised of the Foundation and 12 other prominent organizations, have called for a second consecutive conservative Texas budget, elimination of the business margin tax, more budget transparency, and other key items. For maximum transparency, budget data should be available online throughout the legislative process and be broken down by program instead of by opaque strategies.
To provide increased budget transparency, the Foundation released six papers in the Spotlight series that highlight each of the ten articles of the Texas budget. In addition to providing taxpayers with timely information about where their tax dollars are going, this series also provides more information about budget trends since the 2004-05 budget in each article and identifies functions that increase by more than 6.5 percent from the previous budget.
The 6.5 percent figure was the maximum growth rate that the Coalitionrecommended for the 2016-17 budget based on the rate of population growth plus inflation during fiscal years 2015 and 2016. We are working on providing a similar figure for the next budget in the next month or so before agencies begin submitting their legislation appropriation requests.
The Foundation recently had a commentary in the Austin American-Statesman that highlighted the Spotlight series. Here is key information from that commentary with links to each of the papers for your convenience.
It’s important to watch each article closely to ensure that the 2018-19 budgetdoesn’t exceed population growth plus inflation to keep a solid economic foundation for Texans to prosper.
Vance Ginn, Ph.D.