January 7, 2013The Honorable Rick Perry, GovernorThe Honorable David Dewhurst, Lieutenant GovernorThe Honorable Joseph R. Straus, III, Speaker of the HouseMembers of the 83rd LegislatureLadies and Gentlemen:In accordance with Article III, Section 49a of the Texas Constitution, I present herewith my revenueestimate for the remainder of fiscal 2013 and the upcoming 2014-15 biennium.For 2014-15, the state can expect to have $101.4 billion in funds available for general-purpose spending.This represents a 12.4 percent increase from the corresponding amount of funds available for 2012-13.General Revenue-related tax and fee collections in 2014-15 are estimated to total $96.2 billion, with taxrevenues accounting for approximately 89 percent of the total. Sixty-four percent of state tax revenuewill come from the sales tax. Other significant sources of General Revenue include motor vehicle salesand rental taxes, the franchise tax, the oil and natural gas production taxes, insurance taxes, and lotteryproceeds. Reserved from $96.2 billion is an estimated $3.6 billion representing oil and natural gasrevenues that will be deposited to the Economic Stabilization Fund.Significantly bolstering the anticipated revenue collections of $96.2 billion for 2014-15 is the ending2012-13 General Revenue-related balance, projected to be $8.8 billion. This projected ending balance isa reflection of better-than-expected revenue collections as the state rebounded from the recession and, inaddition, the positive effects of robust oil and natural gas activity over the past several years.In addition to the General Revenue-related funds, the state stands to collect $112.0 billion in federalreceipts and other revenues dedicated for specific purposes and therefore unavailable for general-purposespending. Revenue collections from all sources and for all purposes should total $208.2 billion.During much of the past five years, as I’ve stated before, Texas has gone through and recovered from theworst economic downturn since the end of World War II. The state economy has turned the corner. TheTexas economy, in fact, has fared better than those of most other states, and growth—as well as revenuecollections—has ranged from good to vigorous over the last two years.Texas has recovered all the jobs lost during the recession and, at the current time, has added nearly258,000 jobs beyond the pre-recession peak. The state expects to see net job growth of 232,000 in fiscal2013, 234,000 in 2014, and 266,000 in 2015. The unemployment rate in Texas, which topped out at 8.2percent during much of fiscal 2010 and early 2011, is expected to continue slowly dropping and average6.0 percent during 2015.The state economy, in inflation-adjusted terms, grew solidly in the immediate pre-recession years,retrenched by 2.8 percent in fiscal 2009, then resumed growth in 2010. Looking forward, the Texaseconomy is expected to expand by 3.4 percent in 2013, by a further 3.4 percent in 2014, and 3.9 percentin 2015.