Texas Comptroller | KERA News

Texas Comptroller

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For many Texas families, tax-free shopping is a back-to-school tradition. This weekend, swap those folders for flashlights and binders for batteries. Emergency supplies are tax exempt starting Saturday morning.

It’s a first for Texas-- to help folks stock up for severe weather season. Families intent on cleaning out the hardware store should check the state’s “tax free” list before they buy.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Budget analysts are warning lawmakers not to get too carried away by the comptroller’s announcement today that Texas has an $8.8 billion budget surplus.

State Comptroller Susan Combs says the Legislature, which opens its session Tuesday, will have $101.4 billion for general spending over the next two years. That's 12 percent more money than it had for the two-year budget that ends in August .

State of Texas

The Texas Comptroller says the economic recovery is taking hold, producing higher than expected tax revenues.

State Comptroller Susan Combs said that could lead to a $1.6 billion budget surplus for the fiscal biennium ending in 2013. According to data she released Monday to the Legislature, the state is on track to collect $82.7 billion over the next two years. The 2012-2013 budget is only $81.1 billion.

In the last two budget cycles, lawmakers were forced to slash government spending to make up for budget deficits and tap the Rainy Day Fund.