Journal of the Graduate Research Center


Among the more perplexing problems facing state governments since World War II has been the need for substantial increments in the supply of state-supported social goods and services. The demand for these goods has risen considerably more rapidly than demand in the private sector, leading to enormous pressures on most state revenue structures. The State of Texas is no exception. Since 1947 structural problems have emerged within the administrative machinery of disbursing funds, new and expanded programs have been assumed at the state level, and Texas has been required to make important adjustments in its revenue structure. In 1961, faced with these problems and the consequent necessity to broaden the tax base, the Texas Legislature enacted the general sales tax. More recently, the last state legislative session was required to face the financing of substantial teacher pay raises as well as new undertakings in higher education. Federal aid to education will require additional state funds as well. In light of the growing demands being placed on the state tax structure, several questions should be raised. How well does Texas measure up in regard to the provision of these social services when compared with other states? What are the new functions that the state supports, and which areas have had the greatest demands placed upon them? What is the outlook in the near future with respect to needs for new and expanded public goods and services? The purpose of this study is twofold. First, it breaks total outlays into their functional categories and evaluates the growth of these functional expenditures in Texas as compared with the performance of other states during the 1947-1960 period. Although there are pitfalls in evaluating the performance of one state by making comparisons with others that differ in climate, population composition, geography, and so forth, some important generalizations can be made from the data. The second objective of the study is to forecast the potential demands that may be placed on the state government through the decade of the 1960's.

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