Tribpedia: Economy

With a civilian labor force of more than 12 million and a gross state product of $1.22 trillion in 2008, Texas has the second largest economy in the United States and the 15th largest in the world. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is one of many agencies that keeps track. The state comptroller stays up with key statistics.

Guest Column: The Margin Tax Holds Texas Business Back

Texas Weekly

There’s much that shouldn’t change about Texas’s tax code. I’m a bit jealous of lifelong Texans; you don’t know the sinking feeling of finishing your federal income taxes just to remember that you need to pull out the state tax forms. Even Indiana with its 3.4 percent flat income tax can’t compete with that.

The uncompleted new international railroad bridge near Brownsville passes over the border fence and US 281 before crossing the Rio Grande.
The uncompleted new international railroad bridge near Brownsville passes over the border fence and US 281 before crossing the Rio Grande.

Dispute Over Scanning Machine May Stall Bridge Opening

Just weeks before a new rail bridge connecting Texas and Mexico is set to open, controversy surrounding an X-ray machine for the bridge has unfolded. County officials in the Rio Grande Valley say it's on Customs and Border Protection to pay to relocate it, but the feds say they don't have the money. 

Veterinarian and cattle buyer Jesús Baca discusses how cattle were inspected before the USDA pulled its American inspectors from Mexico.
Veterinarian and cattle buyer Jesús Baca discusses how cattle were inspected before the USDA pulled its American inspectors from Mexico.

After Federal Change, Border Cattle Industry Struggles

Ojinaga, Mexico, used to enjoy the distinction of being one of the busiest ports for importing Mexican cattle into the U.S. But amid concerns about escalating drug violence, the USDA last year moved its cattle inspectors across the Rio Grande River into Texas — a decision residents on both sides of the border say has crippled the local livestock industry. 

A home in the El Cenizo colonia in Laredo, TX. August 23, 2013.
A home in the El Cenizo colonia in Laredo, TX. August 23, 2013.

Poverty Rate Declines for First Time Since Recession

The percentage of Texans living in poverty dropped from 18.5 percent in 2011 to 17.9 percent in 2012, marking the first decline in the state since the recession began in 2008. Still, Texas’ poverty rate remained above the national rate, and above the state's pre-recession rate.

 

 

Report: Immigrants' Economic Strength Increases

The number of naturalized citizens in Texas is on the rise, as is the purchasing power and economic output of the state's native-born and immigrant Hispanics and Asians, according to a new compilation of data by the Immigration Policy Center. But opponents say the data are misleading and skewed to paint only one side of a complex picture.

83rd Lege's Regular Session: What Happened, What Didn't

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Lawmakers raced to get several bills passed before the 83rd Legislature's regular session ended. And with Monday's announcement of a special session, their work isn't done. Here's a look at the deals reached and the measures that fell short in the regular session. 

Perry, Some Lawmakers Want State's Gold Back in Texas

Call it the Rick Perry gold rush: The governor wants to bring the state’s gold reserves back from a New York vault to Texas. And he may have legislative support to do it. Freshman Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, is carrying a bill that would establish the Texas Bullion Depository — a secure state-based bank to house Texas' precious metals.

 

 

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, citing a robust economy,  releases the Biennial Revenue Estimate showing that the state is projected to have over $100 billion available for spending in the next biennium.
Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, citing a robust economy, releases the Biennial Revenue Estimate showing that the state is projected to have over $100 billion available for spending in the next biennium.

Dire Budget Estimate Fit Well With Prevailing Politics

The two-year-old revenue forecast used to justify cuts in the current state budget was wrong — and not by a little bit. But the Legislature elected in a conservative sweep in 2010 was in the mood to cut. That's why Comptroller Susan Combs isn't getting much heat for the goof.

Tax Incentives Could Prove Divisive For GOP

Texas Weekly

Republican leaders like to say government should just get out of the way and let the private sector do work its unfettered magic. But during the session, they may have a hard time squaring their stated philosophy with their support for tax giveaways to private industry.

F1 Drivers Set to Start Their Engines in Austin

Austin will be the epicenter of the auto racing world this month when its new, $400 million track — the Circuit of the Americas — hosts the first Formula One race in the United States since 2007. The city known for its hip counterculture may not be the first place you'd think of to host an F1 race, but planners are ready to prove they're up to the task.

U.S.-Panama Trade Pact Brings Hope, Controversy

A free trade agreement between the U.S. and Panama takes effect Wednesday, bringing with it the controversy over jobs and taxes that is associated with all tariff-reducing agreements. Proponents promise a possible boon to the Texas economy. Opponents argue it is a job-killer that creates tax loopholes for major companies. 

UT/TT Poll: Economy, Immigration Top Texas Issues

Economic issues top the list of most important problems facing the country, and immigration and border security top the list of state issues in the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll. The state's voters are permissive when it comes to same-sex unions, strict when it comes to voting rights, and have complicated views on immigration, education and state spending.

Construction workers for the Mexican contracting company Coconao work on a segment of the new rail bridge that stands over the Rio Grande.
Construction workers for the Mexican contracting company Coconao work on a segment of the new rail bridge that stands over the Rio Grande.

Border Welcomes First Rail Line in More Than a Century

It has been more than 100 years since Texas and Mexico witnessed the construction of a new railroad line that spans both countries. That streak will end this year as officials on both sides of the Rio Grande expect that by December, a new rail line will be completed in Cameron County. Officials say it can only help the Laredo Customs Trade maintain its title as the nation's largest inland port.