Author Topic: Texas Has Ample Money In Its Rainy Day Fund. Now The Legislature Has To Decide How To Spend It.  (Read 420 times)

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Online Elderberry

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Texas Standard By Caroline Covington February 27, 2019

Texas’ Economic Stabilization Fund, commonly referred to as the rainy day fund, is approaching record levels. It reached $11 billion in 2018, and Texas’ comptroller estimates it will reach $15 billion by the end of 2021. During the current  legislative session, some lawmakers are trying to decide if and how to use some of that money.

Ben Philpott, senior editor at KUT News, has been following the various proposals. He says lawmakers over the years have aimed to hold onto a “safe amount” in the rainy day fund in order to maintain the state’s AAA – or exceptional – bond rating. A high rating matters because it signals to investors that Texas is a safe place to put their money. During the last couple sessions, though, Philpott says the legislature decided that $7 billion or $8 billion in reserves is enough to maintain the state’s bond rating.

“They’ve set on about $7.5 billion to leave in there, as a minimum,” Philpott says.

Philpott says Texas’ Comptroller Glenn Hegar says Texas is being too conservative with the money, and as a result, it’s not being invested in a way that generates enough return to keep up with inflation.

More: https://www.texasstandard.org/stories/texas-has-ample-money-in-its-rainy-day-fund-now-the-legislature-has-to-decide-how-to-spend-it/
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Offline rustynail

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Offline ABX

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Offline Sanguine

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I seem to remember that Texas is one of those states that has underfunded retirement plans?
Cui bono?

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Online Elderberry

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I seem to remember that Texas is one of those states that has underfunded retirement plans?

I don't believe its a State thing. Its the cities.
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Offline Sanguine

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I don't believe its a State thing. Its the cities.

OK, feeling dumb here - what is the cities?
Cui bono?

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Online Elderberry

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OK, feeling dumb here - what is the cities?

https://texasmonitor.org/texas-big-cities-get-poor-marks-for-fiscal-health/

Quote
Three of Texas’ largest cities are also among its poorest fiscal performers, due in large part to unfunded retiree benefits, according to a national fiscal watchdog group.

Houston, Fort Worth and Dallas all fared poorly in an annual study by Truth in Accounting. The Chicago-based group promotes fiscal responsibility in all levels of government.

In its annual study of municipal finances, TIA found that the country’s most populous 75 cities collectively hold $330 billion in unfunded debt.

By TIA’s reckoning, Dallas has $7.8 billion in unfunded debt, Houston $7.4 billion, and Fort Worth $3.1 billion.

TIA lists more debt than cities show on their comprehensive annual financial reports because those documents don’t include unfunded retiree healthcare benefits, Bill Bergman, TIA’s director of research, told The Texas Monitor. But that will change next year, as new accounting rules go into effect.

TIA ranks cities by per capita tax burden. Dallas residents each owe $24,000, Fort Worth residents $12,500, and Houstonians $11,300. Dallas’ per capita debt load, according to the report, is heavier than all but five other cities studied.

Other major Texas cities showed much lower per capita tax burdens than the worst three. According to the TIA, Austin’s burden was $4,300 per citizen, Corpus Christi $1,100, San Antonio $3,200 and El Paso $4,500.
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Offline Sanguine

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I expect you are correct, @Elderberry

It's hard to tease out the facts from stories like this:  https://texasmonitor.org/financial-watchdog-texas-mired-in-unfunded-pension-debt/
Cui bono?

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How about a choo-choo in California that goes from nowhere to nowhere?

Didn't I just say that?
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Offline Smokin Joe

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Invest it, and when it gets large enough the interest will fund the state, do away with taxes.
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Offline IsailedawayfromFR

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I seem to remember that Texas is one of those states that has underfunded retirement plans?
If these are state underfunded pensions, that is one thing.

I do not want to contribute to paying for pension liabilities of any of our large cities, if that is what you are implying we do.
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Offline IsailedawayfromFR

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Invest it, and when it gets large enough the interest will fund the state, do away with taxes.
Just to logical for a politician who is trying to obtain votes now, rather than at some future time.

Save it for the army we will have to fund when Texas becomes independent.
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Offline Sanguine

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If these are state underfunded pensions, that is one thing.

I do not want to contribute to paying for pension liabilities of any of our large cities, if that is what you are implying we do.

Agreed.  I was referring to state pensions.
Cui bono?

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Offline IsailedawayfromFR

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Agreed.  I was referring to state pensions.
Even for state pensions, I would hold off unless we take a long hard look at those plans to ensure they will not pull us back into the abyss.

After all, we conservatives know we get in trouble not by not having enough money coming in, but too much going out.
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Offline Sanguine

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Even for state pensions, I would hold off unless we take a long hard look at those plans to ensure they will not pull us back into the abyss.

After all, we conservatives know we get in trouble not by not having enough money coming in, but too much going out.

I was mainly making the point that maybe it's not really "ample money".
Cui bono?

Walk in Wisdom
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Offline IsailedawayfromFR

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Guess they decided on where to spend the money.  http://www.gopbriefingroom.com/index.php/topic,353542.0.html

Could have been in worse places.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 08:20:17 PM by IsailedawayfromFR »
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