April

Will an Expanded Panama Canal Increase Texas Trade? More Shipping May Favor Texas Ports

The completion of the $5.3 billion Panama Canal expansion project in 2016 has increased the canal’s capabilities to handle larger ships — and could open new opportunities for Texas ports.

Go to the Panama Canal article

April

The Criminal Investigation Division: Comptroller Cops Go After Tax Fraud

Texans may hate paying taxes, but we hate it even more when others don’t pay their fair share. CID’s officers conduct sting operations, stakeouts, inspections and make arrests.

Go to the Criminal Investigation Division article

Special Edition

Texas State Government and Long-Term Obligations

As the 2017 legislative session crafts the next state budget under tight budgetary constraints, policymakers should remain aware of lingering long-term obligations that could damage the state’s credit rating and limit the amount of revenue available for general spending.

Go to Long-Term Obligations

March

Counting the Cost of Texas Health Care: Comptroller Report Examines Vital State Spending

Health care isn’t just a common human need, it’s one of the largest items in the Texas state budget. It presents a significant continuing challenge to lawmakers.

Go to the Health Care article

March

Will the U.S. Open Up Trade with Cuba? Warmer Relations Could Boost Texas Exports

The numbers are an exporter’s dream: 11 million consumers in a new, untapped market. So what’s the catch?

Go to Cuba article

February

“Dark Store Theory” and Property Taxation: Legal Interpretation Could Cost States Millions

Texas communities depend on the property taxes generated by retail businesses. But should open, operating stores be taxed in the same way as closed ones?

Go to Dark Store article

February

Texas Ports, Gateways to World Commerce: Comptroller Study Highlights Economic Impacts

Texas has become a hub for international trade. And all this trade moves through one or more of Texas’ 29 official “ports of entry” — seaports, airports, border crossings and multi-modal facilities that offer train, air and roadway links to the state and nation.

Go to Ports article

December/January

Certificates of Obligation: A Flexible Funding Tool for Local Projects

Certificates of obligation (COs) provide local governments with flexibility when projects must be financed quickly. But the way COs circumvent voter approval has made them controversial, leading to 2015 legislation restricting their use.

Go to Certificates of Obligation article

December/January

The Fiscal Noting Process: Doing the Math on New Legislation

Texas law requires the Legislature to do the math when considering new laws by providing for a “fiscal note” that accompanies each bill.

The Fiscal Noting Process