LT GOVERNOR TALKS BUDGET ISSUES
Dewhurst says state has enough to balance budget; pay for property tax cuts
(AUSTIN) — Lt. Governor David Dewhurst met with Governor Rick Perry and Comptroller Susan Combs Tuesday morning to talk about budget issues facing the state in the upcoming biennium. Dewhurst said the three officials discussed how the recent property tax cuts will impact the budget, and how to use the budget surplus forecasted by the Comptroller's office. One of the top priorities will be providing the funds to cover last session's promised billions in school property tax reduction. " We've got to make sure that over the next four years we deliver on our promises. We promised that we were going to deliver a little over $14 billion in tax cuts to homeowners and I feel very, very committed to making sure that that happens", he said.
Dewhurst was quick to disabuse the notion that the state has a $14 billion surplus, saying there was some confusion in the media and the public about how much of the increase in general revenue was set aside to pay for property tax cuts. Dewhurst said it was not clear exactly how much the surplus would be but he did say it was "just enough to balance our budget and pay for our local school property tax cuts in the 2009 biennium."