“Our first priority is to send money back to the taxpayers of Texas.”
HOUSTON – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement today following Comptroller Glenn Hegar’s update to the Certification Revenue Estimate (CRE) for the 2022-23 biennium:
“Today the Comptroller released an estimate of a $26.9 billion expected budget surplus, an unprecedented windfall for the Texas economy. Since I have been Lt. Governor, we have managed our budget wisely. The Texas economy leads the nation and is a major force in the global marketplace.
“In addition, the Comptroller expects over a billion dollars to be added to the rainy day fund leaving us an estimated ending balance of $13.7 billion in August of 2023.
“I have always believed returning money back to taxpayers does not grow government. Every member of the Texas Senate will have ideas on how this additional revenue should be spent and I will give them full consideration. However, I believe, first and foremost, any surplus should first go back to the taxpayers of Texas. Texas homeowners must receive tax relief before we commit to any new spending.
My priorities for the funds Comptroller Hegar forecasts today are:
- Last session, in 2021, I said in any year where we have a budget surplus, the first dollars should go back to property tax relief in that year; I support using an additional $4 billion for property tax relief next year;
- Permanently increase the homestead exemption to $60,000, and ultimately my goal is to increase that to $100,000 in future years;
- Suspend the state gas tax for the remainder of 2022;
- Allocate the funding to continue to pay for teacher’s raises while also maintaining our education funding and cuts to school property taxes that we passed in 2019; and
- Provide another 13th check for retired teachers;
“Of course we must continue to maintain our effort to secure the border where the federal government has failed. I still have concerns about a national recession but the Texas economy will always lead the nation with our conservative approach to spending and putting taxpayers first. This unprecedented windfall due to the hard work of Texas taxpayers and our growing economy will give us the funding we need to weather any future economic storm that the Nation may face.”