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In Texas, All State Agencies Asked To Pare Budgets Due To COVID-19

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This story is part of an NPR nationwide analysis of states' revenue and budgets during the pandemic.

Texas state revenues have taken a serious beating, thanks largely to falling sales tax revenue since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

The past few months have seen year-over-year sales tax revenue declines. Other revenue sources affected by COVID-19, including taxes on motor fuel, hotel occupancy and alcoholic beverages, have also experienced double-digit drops.

The crash in oil prices sent oil production tax receipts down a whopping 77% June 2020, compared with June 2019, with natural gas production receipts down 84%.

"The drops we've seen in some of our revenue sources ... those are bigger drops than we've ever seen, at least on a month-to-month basis," said Tom Currah, chief revenue estimator with the Texas comptroller's office.

All state agencies have been asked to pare their budgets by 5% for the two-year budget cycle. That translates to about 8.5% cuts in what's left of the cycle.

Andrew Schneider is the politics and government reporter for Houston Public Media.

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