The continuing drop in oil prices is negatively affecting tax revenues and economic numbers in Texas.
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar reports that oil and natural gas tax collections for the first four months of RY 2016, which began in September 2015, are down by 49 percent from the same period in FY 2015. Sales tax revenues for the state are also down, but not as much. For the first four months of FY 2016, state sales tax collections were down by 2.098 percent. December alone made up 1.03 percent of that decrease in collections. These figures are from the Comptroller’s Texas Economy website.
While the drop in oil prices is having a marked impact on the Texas economy, sectors beyond oil and gas are helping Texas continue its growth, albeit at a smaller than anticipated rate. Hegar reported that 9 of the 11 major industries in Texas showed job growth. Those industries include: professional and business services, trade, transportation and utilities, leisure and hospitality, education and health services, construction, government, financial activities, information, and other services.
For the first time in 108 consecutive months, Texas rate of unemployment fell behind that of the national average. Texas’ unemployment rate for December 2015 was 4.7 percent compared to the national average of 4.6 percent.