Today, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs announced that state sales tax collections hit $2.07 billion in April, up 10.9 percent from the same month a year ago. Texas has now seen 25 consecutive months of sales tax increases as compared to the previous year with sales tax revenues on pace to run about a billion dollars ahead of the Comptroller’s revised revenue estimate in May 2011.
While Texas consumers are busy buying because they are busier working than is the case in much of America, there is ample reason to be cautious. First, there is increasing budgetary pressure for billions more in Medicaid and education spending. Second, other states’ revenue pictures aren’t so bright, with the largest and third-largest states, California and New York, seeing their tax revenues sharply underperforming estimates. Third, events overseas may portend another global slowdown, affecting Texas’ strong export market.
The bottom line for Texas is: stay the course by maintaining fiscal discipline, looking for more ways to save taxpayer money by eliminating duplicate agencies and streamlining programs while seeking to make the Lone Star state even more competitive.