- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Plunging energy prices are taking a $4.7 billion toll on projected tax collections in Texas, but state officials say enough money remains to cover the first budget under Gov. Greg Abbott.

Republican Comptroller Glenn Hegar said Tuesday that a “prolonged weakness” in oil and gas markets will continue to slow the Texas economy. His new revenue estimates through 2017 are less optimistic than the forecast he gave lawmakers in January.

Abbott signed a $209 billion two-year budget in June that included tax cuts, more border security spending and billions of dollars left unspent.

Other top oil-producing states like Oklahoma and Louisiana are bracing for steep budget shortfalls as the price of crude stalls below $50 a barrel. Hegar has praised the Texas economy as more diversified and resilient.

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