Improve Revenue Estimates
Conservative Republican candidate for Texas Comptroller Harvey Hilderbran today pledged to improve revenue estimates when he is elected. This proposal is the eighth item in the ten-point Performance Pledge to the voters.
“One of the most important statutory duties of the Comptroller’s office is to provide the Governor and the Legislature accurate revenue estimates for the biennial (two-year) state budget,” said Hilderbran, who serves as the House Ways and Chairman and a State Representative from Kerrville. “Although we are experiencing dynamic growth, the fact is that two of the least accurate revenue estimates in state history were issued by the current Comptroller. This matters because, if we had received a more accurate revenue estimate for the 2013 session, as Chairman I would have been able to cut taxes by $2 billion more than we did or the Legislature could have made important investments in transportation or water. We must do better. When I am Comptroller, we will.”
Hilderbran believes the Comptroller’s office should be measured as to its accuracy with revenue projections and be held accountable for those projections.
The revenue estimate that the Comptroller issues sets the pay-as-you-go limit on the biennial budget that the Texas Legislature is required to pass, which funds all of state government. An inaccurate revenue estimate means that programs are underfunded, that potential tax relief is denied Texans, or that the state is headed for a deficit.
“Accuracy in the revenue estimates is too critical a job for the proper management of our state government,” Hilderbran said. “The Comptroller’s office can never afford to lose its credibility in delivering the most up-to-date estimates for the Governor and Legislature.”
With that goal in mind, Harvey Hilderbran will thoroughly evaluate and update the office’s data forecasting capabilities and institute a quarterly review and reporting of revenue projections, so that the Governor and Legislature will have the most updated numbers possible. Good management requires this function to be executed with the best possible accuracy. Quarterly reviews and updates will go a long way to reducing any revenue surprises to Texas.
Hilderbran also plans to recreate the economic advisory committee first started by former Comptroller Bob Bullock. This committee would meet quarterly and be comprised of corporate and academic economists with the mission of reviewing the Texas economic outlook and implications for state revenue growth.
“It’s time for a fresh approach in the Texas Comptroller’s office, and I have the vision, experience and passion to improve the office and actively fight for Texas taxpayers.”