Landgraf on spending Texas' record breaking budget surplus

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 10:06 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - Texas currently has a record breaking budget surplus of about $34 billion for the two year period.

“That means that we’ve taken too much, that local governments state governments have taken too much money from taxpayers so I think we need to get that back in the form of tax relief so I think that has to be the priority getting it back in the hands of taxpayers who need it to help pay grocery bills, mortgages and rents,” State Representative Brooks Landgraf.

Landgraf says oil and gas production here in the Permian Basin has a lot to do with the surplus as well as inflation across the country.

“That is leading to increases in the price of consumer goods, Texas relies heavily on sales tax revenue for our budget so when the cost of goods have gone up the associate sales tax has and that’s one reason why we have this record breaking budget surplus,” said Landgraf.

Another major factor Landgraf says is 1,300 people a day are moving to Texas every day meaning more consumers and economic activity.

Landgraf says once a lot of the money is back in the hands of taxpayers. Some critical needs that need to be met include school safety and infrastructure.

Landgraf also says border security is a top priority, despite it being a federal issue.

“Unfortunately that’s a federal responsibility but the Biden administration is not holding up its end of the bargain so Texas is going to continue to step up and do something that costs money but I don’t think it needs to be a priority,” said Landgraf.

Landgraf says orphaned wells are another issue in need of being addressed and Texas is benefitting from federal funds to plug orphaned and abandoned wells through ARPA,  the Railroad Commission is administering those funds.

“We do have an orphaned well problem in Texas and particularly here in the Permian Basin we need to take full advantage of the funds that have been made available to the state for that person and if we still have that problem after those funds have been expended then I think that’s something that we need to continue to provide an investment for here in Texas,” said Landgraf.