Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

February 25, 2013

House proposes reversing budget 2011 gimmicks

By Chris Tomlinson
Associated Press

AUSTIN — The Legislature's main budget writer has proposed reversing two of the gimmicks used to balance the budget in 2011.

House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts said Monday he wants to reverse a delay in payments to schools and stop a speed-up in collecting business taxes.

In 2011, Texas lawmakers faced a shortfall of $27 billion to pay for government services. As part of balancing the budget, they delayed a payment to public schools by two weeks, pushing a $1.75 billion check into the next fiscal year. Some businesses also agreed to pay $864 million early.

Texas collected more taxes than expected, and now Pitts wants to reverse those accounting tricks and add $2.6 billion to the current budget. Last week the House approved adding $4 billion to the budget.