The state comptroller discussed current economic projections for the state, as well as issues concerning tax appraisal districts, during a talk in Killeen on Monday.
Glenn Hegar, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, was the scheduled guest speaker for the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce’s Public Policy Council luncheon Monday at the Courtyard by Marriott, 1721 Central Texas Expressway in Killeen.
“If you look at the state budget and compare it to the rest of the world, it is amazing to know that Texas is the 10th largest economy in the world, even larger than countries such as Canada and Russia,” Hegar said. “Several years ago I believe we were the 12th largest economy, and by next year we may even climb to the ninth largest economy.”
Hegar was first elected as the 36th Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in November 2014. Hegar is Texas’ chief financial officer — the state’s treasurer, check writer, tax collector, procurement officer and revenue estimator. Upon taking office, Hegar reorganized the agency for quicker and more effective decision-making and reduced its administrative footprint by working with the Legislature to eliminate inefficient programs and transfer others that didn’t fit core missions. Additionally, Hegar recommended that the Legislature repeal eight taxes, six of which were administered by his agency.
Hegar said despite economic downturns, Texas is continuing to grow year after year, noting that the state gained 330,000 jobs over the course of 2019.
“We are not the Texas of the 1980s, Texas had a more diverse economy in the 1980s,” Hegar said. “Even so, Texas is continuing to grow every year.” According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Texas’ gross domestic product in 2018 was $1.8 trillion, or $62,962 per capita.
Hegar also noted that Texas has historically had one of the lowest unemployment rates out of all the state in the U.S., reaching a historic low of 3.4% in 2019.