Texas is doing just fine, thank you very much, according to State Comptroller Glenn Hegar. In an appearance Thursday at Liberty Hall in the Rockwall County Courthouse, Mr. Hegar informed an audience of a couple hundred citizens that the states economy is outperforming the national average in most key areas like income growth, employment and the ability to handle economic downturns.
He cited as an example the recent slide in oil prices. While lower fuel prices are great for the average consumer, many businesses that are dependent on the oil and gas industry have had to scale back, laying off workers and reducing expenditures. In similar downturns in the past, vast areas of the state were hit hard. Today, Hegar said, because of the influx of diverse business over the last 20 years, the impact of a single industry downturn is greatly diluted. “Oil and gas and manufacturing are down, but everything else is up.”
Since Texas is so large and diverse, it made sense for the Comptrollers office to divide the state into 12 economic regions for the purpose of study. This enables a more granular look at the needs and economic trends in each area of the state. The downturn in the energy industry, for example, has a more profound effect on the western part of the state than it might in the Metroplex. Programs to promote economic expansion could be tailored differently for each region.
Mr. Hegar also addressed the difficulty of estimating statewide tax revenue for the coming year, making budgeting a challenge. There is no telling what the financial markets, both international and domestic, will do to impact revenues, not to mention a possible administration change at the federal level.
Other interesting bits of information presented:
The state of Texas is currently the 12th largest economy in the world, ranking just ahead of the country of Australia, and just behind Canada.
The state is holding over $4 billion in unclaimed property. If you think some of it may be yours, check mycpa.cpa.state.tx.us/up/Search.jsp to see if you are a lucky beneficiary.
Also, the correct pronunciation of the word “Comptroller” is “Controller” — but nobody says it that way.
Article by Bob Lewis