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Texas Comptroller releases state revenue estimate

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Amarillo, TX - In an era of shrinking budgets and tightening belts, the budget is on every state legislature's mind this time around - but Texas is looking a lot rosier than most, according to State Comptroller Susan Combs' office.

The 2014-2015 Biennial Revenue Estimate just released this morning pegs total estimated revenue at $101.4 billion, about 89 percent of which comes from sales tax.

That's a significant increase over last year, and would create an $8.8 billion surplus, a good chunk of which ($3.6 billion) is set to be appropriated for the Economic Stabilization Fund, better known as the Rainy Day Fund.

"Today's revenue estimate is more evidence that we made the right decisions two years ago by budgeting carefully to meet the challenges of the national recession," Governor Rick Perry said in a statement, "The Texas formula of low taxes, reasonable regulations, fair courts and a quality workforce is the best way to continue creating jobs and growing our economy."

Texas actually has the lowest expenditure rate and one of the fastest-growing populations in the nation, largely due to a high birthrate and rapidly growing Hispanic population.  The state's population is expected to hit 27.3 million by 2015, according to the Census Bureau.

Texas has fared better than most states during the recession, and the report predicts that momentum will continue, but outside factors may affect that growth.

"The federal government remains gridlocked across a number of issues with the result being continuing uncertainty and delaying of purchasing decisions by businesses and households, including the possibility of increased taxation," writes Susan Combs in the report.

For a local perspective, last year, Amarillo generated about $700 million in revenue and grew by 1.6 percent.

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