SAN ANTONIO – The monthly sales tax revenue in Texas plunged 13.6% in May compared to the same month last year and restaurant reservations made via one online booking site declined by 100% from the year before as the coronavirus crisis shuttered dining rooms in March.
The bleak figures, recently released in a report by the Texas Comptroller’s Office, help give an understanding of how the pandemic crushed the state’s economy within the span of just months.
The comptroller’s office released a revised Certification Revenue Estimate that shows the impact on tax revenues from sectors like travel, retail, alcohol and beverage, and entertainment, and how the disruption caused record unemployment.
The Certification Revenue Estimate, or CRE, is released by the office after each legislative session to give lawmakers a sense of the state of the economy. As it was released after the 2019 session, it “reflected what was then one of the nation’s strongest economies,” the office said in the report.
Then the pandemic hit.
Now, according to the report, the state’s availability for general-purpose spending will be $11.57 billion, or 9.5%, less than stated in the October 2019 CRE. The $110.19 billion available for 2020-21 is .8% less than 2018-19, the report states.
“Economic output in the U.S. and Texas fell by historically large amounts in the second quarter of calendar 2020,” the report states. “Given the unprecedented nature of the economic contraction associated with actions taken to slow the spread of COVID-19, forecasting services have significantly and repeatedly revised their estimates of economic growth for this year and next.”
The comptroller’s office laid out four charts that show how the economy slid and slowly began to bounce back even as COVID-19 cases surged in Texas: