A Message from the Comptroller
Our state revenues reflect the state economy, and vary with its ups and downs. But Texas budget writers have a major advantage in the form of the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF), often called the state's "rainy day fund." Most states have similar funds, but few can approach ours; at nearly $9.7 billion in fiscal 2016, it's the nation's largest.
The Texas ESF was created in the 1980s, in the wake of a recession due in large part to a slump in energy prices. It derives most of its revenue from the state's oil and gas production taxes, and it rose along with those taxes during the shale boom. Now energy prices have fallen sharply again, but through the ESF we've put revenue aside for tighter times.
In this issue, we examine the rainy day fund and how it's been used over the years.
We also take a look at a study my office prepared on the economic impact of Texas military installations. We've found that our 15 major military installations generate more than $136.6 billion in economic activity in our state each year, add about $81.4 billion to our gross state product and support nearly 806,000 Texas jobs.
It's a staggering total that underlines the importance of the armed services to our state economy. I recently visited a number of these bases to talk about the study — and to show our gratitude. Our communities and our families owe a profound debt to the men and women of the armed services.
As always, I hope you enjoy this issue!
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts