This story is part of an NPR nationwide analysis of states’ revenue and budgets during the pandemic.
Texas state revenues have taken a serious beating, thanks largely to falling sales tax revenue since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
The past few months have seen year-over-year sales tax revenue declines. Other revenue sources affected by COVID-19, including taxes on motor fuel, hotel occupancy and alcoholic beverages, have also experienced double-digit drops.
The crash in oil prices sent oil production tax receipts down a whopping 77% June 2020, compared with June 2019, with natural gas production receipts down 84%.
“The drops we’ve seen in some of our revenue sources … those are bigger drops than we’ve ever seen, at least on a month-to-month basis,” said Tom Currah, chief revenue estimator with the Texas comptroller’s office.
All state agencies have been asked to pare their budgets by 5% for the two-year budget cycle. That translates to about 8.5% cuts in what’s left of the cycle.