Earlier this week, Comptroller Susan Combs released her biennial revenue estimate, which shows the legislature how much revenue is available to spend in the next two years.  Comptroller Combs estimates that the state will have $101.4 billion in funds available for general-purpose spending, representing a 12.4-percent increase over funds available for 2012-2013. 

In addition to the general revenue-related funds, the state can also expect to collect $112 billion in federal funds and other revenues dedicated for specific purposes.   Total revenues from all sources and for all purposes are estimated to be $208.2 billion.  With increased oil and natural gas collections, the Economic Stabilization Fund (otherwise known as the Rainy Day Fund) is estimated to reach $11.8 billion by the end of the 2014-2015 biennium.

What does this mean for cities?  While the state may have billions more to spend, it provides virtually no financial assistance to cities.  To the contrary, cities actually generate revenue (in the form of state fees in municipal court, state agency fees, etc.) that is used by the legislature to fund state programs.  In good economic times or bad, you can expect the state will look to cities to fund an even larger share of those programs.

TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League.

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