Texas Budget Surplus Makes Legislators Look Good

While other states look for a bailout, Texas is the envy of the nation.

Texas is the envy of the nation when it comes to balancing its checkbook.

The state government is sitting on an $11 billion surplus and Rep. Dan Branch of Dallas (R) said he knows why.

"The strong oil and gas sector has bolstered our sales tax revenues as well as production tax revenues," said Branch. "These revenues along with lower property tax rates, reasonable regulation and strong job growth have created a significant surplus while over 35 states, most with state income taxes, are running deficits."

The fact that Texas has no income tax makes its current condition even more impressive to outsiders.

Consider that California's budget gap is now at $16 billion and the state is considering federal bailout options.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is also faced with the fact that he's going to have to do something he's vowed not to: Raise taxes.

Branch said that won't be a problem here.

"Our state taxes its residents less than any large state and the legislature has been careful to reduce spending to within population growth and inflation rates."

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