Lone Star Success News

Texas economy humming, could get $8.4 billion for rainy day

August 12th, 2014

by Matthew Waller, Corpus Christi Caller-Times

AUSTIN — Texas’ economy continues to outpace the country as a whole — in job growth, in employment and in personal income, resulting in the possibility of a tax decrease for businesses.

If Texas were its own country, Texas Comptroller Chief Revenue Estimator John Heleman said, it would be the 12th largest in the world, behind Canada and ahead of Australia.

“The Texas economy is continuing down the same path,” Heleman said. “The Texas economy continues to have recovered from recession and is expanding to outperform the United States economy.”

The Texas real gross state product grew $1.38 trillion, a 4.4 percent increase in fiscal year 2013 over the previous year — compared with 2 percent growth for the United States as a whole, he said.

Texas had 11.55 million jobs in June 2014, an increase of 19,100 jobs over May and a gain of 371,000 jobs compared with June 2013.

That put the job gain from the year before at 3.3 percent compared with 1.8 percent growth in the United States.

“I know all of us continually read stories about how this is a jobless recovery,” Heleman said. “Many parts of the nation don’t feel like they have recovered. … We live in Texas, and we’re not seeing that, but certainly other parts of the country are.”

Heleman said that more school money should be coming up locally because of increasing home prices.

Meanwhile, the so-called Rainy Day Fund, properly called the Economic Stabilization Fund, that is fed by oil and gas severance taxes, should contain $8.4 billion by the end of the 2015 fiscal year, even including the possibility that part of the money headed to the fund might be diverted to Texas roads, should voters approve a proposition in the Nov. 4 elections.

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