Texas official forecasts 12.4 percent more revenue for 2014-15

AUSTIN, Texas Mon Jan 7, 2013 1:39pm EST

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AUSTIN, Texas Jan 7 (Reuters) - The Texas Legislature will have 12.4 percent more revenue to spend in the next two budget years because of higher-than-expected tax collections, state Comptroller Susan Combs projected on Monday.

"Texas experienced a very strong rebound from a severe recession," said Combs, who issued her biennial revenue estimate a day before the Texas Legislature convenes.

Texas has a two-year budget cycle and lawmakers this session will craft a 2014-2015 budget.

Combs forecast revenue of $101.4 billion - which the comptroller says is 12.4 percent greater than corresponding funds available for the current budget cycle - including $8.8 billion expected to remain at the end of the 2012-2013 budget cycle.

The state's general revenue collections are projected to be $96.2 billion, $3.6 billion of which would be set aside for the state's rainy-day fund.

Combs estimated that the rainy-day fund will have $8.1 billion at the end of the current budget cycle and $11.8 billion at the end of the 2014-2015 cycle.

Collections of sales tax, oil and natural gas production taxes and motor vehicle sales taxes have exceeded expectations, she added.

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