Texas Comptroller

Politics
11:11 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Susan Combs Won't Seek Re-election

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs on Feb. 7, 2013.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera, Texas Tribune

Comptroller Susan Combs announced Wednesday that she will not seek re-election and that she is retiring from public office at the end of her term in 2015. Combs, who had been positioning herself to run for lieutenant governor, will not run for that post or other elective office. 

"It is with a deep sense of gratitude for the past, coupled with excitement for the future, that I announce today I will not be seeking elective office in 2014," Combs said in a statement, adding that she would keep working on several policy priorities, but that she wanted to spend more time on her West Texas ranch. "I want to make my intentions clear as soon as possible for prospective statewide candidates."

Read more
Texas
4:53 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Sales Tax Holiday to Give You a Break on Efficient Appliances

Energy Star appliances aim to save on the electric bill.
courtesy flickr.com/hubgoat

If you’re thinking of buying an appliance anytime soon, you might want to circle Memorial Day weekend on your calendar. The state’s annual Energy Star sales tax holiday runs May 25- 27.

Dub Taylor with the State Energy Conservation Office says they want to encourage people with the idea that after you save on sales tax, you’ll also save on your electric bill.

Read more
Environment
6:33 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Texas Mayor: Pray for Rain

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune and Pedro Moura Pinheiro, Texas Tribune

With the drought getting worse by the day, a Texas mayor is turning to a higher power.

He’s asking people to pray for rain.

Odessa Mayor David Turner is calling on community and church leaders to make this Sunday, April 14th, a day of prayer for rainfall.

Read more
Formula 1
1:18 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

F1 Organizers Get $29.3 Million From State Comptroller

How much F1 'fueled' Austin's economy is yet to be determined.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The Texas Comptroller has paid the organizers of Austin’s Formula 1 race more than $29 million from the state’s Major Events Trust Fund.

The trust fund uses tax revenues generated by an event to cover expenses related to the event.

“We pay them back $29.3 million because we’re saying, basically, that there’s been an incremental tax increase of $29.3 million so we’re going to let you have that money to pay you back for expenses that you had bringing the event here," Lauren Willis, director of communications for the Texas Comptroller, says.

Read more
Am Update: 9/21/12
8:44 am
Fri September 21, 2012

AM Update: New Hispanic Population Stats, Dead Voter Purge Delay, Cost-Effective School Spending

It's probably no surprise that Texas is home to some of the nation's largest Hispanic populations.
Pew Research Center/2010 ACS

The Clean Air Force of Central Texas is forecasting another ozone day. The group is predicting an "unhealthy" or Orange Level day. Here is a roundup of some stories making news this morning:

Austin Home to Country's 20th Largest Metropolitan Hispanic Population

A new report by the Pew Research Center shows the nation's Hispanic population is fairly concentrated. The report analyzed census data from the 2010 American Community Survey. It found "nearly half (45 percent) of the nation’s Hispanic population lives in just 10 metropolitan areas."

Four Texas metropolitans are home to some of the nation's largest Hispanic populations. Houston ranks #2, Dallas-Fort Worth is #6, San Antonio ranks #9 and Austin comes in at #20.

According to the ACS data, Austin has a Hispanic population of 502,000, which makes up 31 percent of the city's total population. Hispanics make up an even larger portion of Austin's younger population. Among Austinites under 18 years old, 42.3 percent are Hispanic. More than a quarter (28.9 percent) of Austin's Hispanic population were born outside of the United States.

Of the 60 metropolitan areas with the largest Hispanic populations, two areas have Hispanic populations that make up more than 90 percent of residents: Laredo (#36 on the list) is 96 percent Hispanic, McAllen (#13) is 91 percent Hispanic.

Delay in Dead Voter Purge

State District Judge Tom Sulak has temporarily prevented Texas from ordering counties to purge possibly dead voters from their registration rolls.

Read more
Politics
1:59 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

State Comptroller Targets Local Taxing Jurisdictions

The cover of the Comptroller's report suggests taxpayers are being crushed by taxes.

In a sneak peek of the pending clash between state and local governments to come during the next legislative session, Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs is urging people to challenge local taxing authorities over levies that she says are rising faster than inflation.  

Combs' office issued a report today titled "Your Money and The Taxing Facts."  Texans are encouraged to "get involved" by "attending hearings and meetings of entities that affect you."

Read more
AM Update
8:21 am
Thu May 10, 2012

AM Update: UT Law School's New Dean, Sales Tax Revenues Rise, Fat Lady Sings for San Antonio Opera?

Former UT Law Dean Larry Sager tendered his resignation last December. He now works as a faculty professor.
Photo courtesy of Marsha Miller for the University of Texas

UT Announces New Dean of Law School

Ward Farnsworth, an associate dean at Boston University’s Law School, will replace Interim Dean Stefanie Lindquist as leader of the law school on June 1.

Before joining Boston University, Farnsworth clerked for Richard Posner on the 7th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Anthony Kennedy on the U. S. Supreme Court.

Farnsworth say his first order of business is "learning from the faculty, the alumni and the rest of the community down there about their views and abilities, and how we can use them to advance the mission of the school," reports the Alcade.

Read more
Business
11:29 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Amazon to Start Paying Texas Sales Tax

Amazon has promised a Texas expansion, in addition to paying sales tax starting this summer.

After talks between online retailer Amazon.com and the state over paying sales taxes collapsed last year, the parties have reached an agreement.

The Office of the State Comptroller and Amazon stated today that beginning in July, Amazon – which had a distribution center in Irving, Texas – will begin paying state sales tax.

Amazon also announced it will “create at least 2,500 jobs and make at least $200 million in capital investments” in Texas, over the next four years.

Read more
Business
4:52 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Credit Breach: Tips on Protecting Yourself

There's less drastic measures than those depicted for victims of credit card theft.
Photo courtesy flickr.com/jcolman

The revelation that a leading credit card payment processor had some 1.5 million card numbers breached has put Texas consumers on alert.

Details are scarce about who has been affected at this point, but the latest potential for identity theft may raise a collective groan in Texas. Just a year ago, the State Comptroller’s office revealed it had left the Social Security information of 3.5 million state workers online, on an unsecured webpage.

The Comptroller’s Office offered those affected one year of free credit monitoring. But now that that period is drawing to a close.

Read more
Texas
4:49 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Texas Comptroller's Report Assesses Drought's Impact

A report from Texas Comptroller Susan Combs says economic effects of the drought could reach into billions of dollars.
Image by Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

A 12-page report released Wednesday by the Texas comptroller's office offers a wide-ranging look at the effects of the record drought that is still gripping Texas.

The report, "The Impact of the 2011 Drought and Beyond," contains few new figures for drought losses but offers graphics that depict the breadth of the problem, which hurt crops, threatens electricity production and forced 55 communities to ban outdoor watering.

"Texas is prone to cycles of drought which makes it important for residents, businesses, and state and local governments to manage water use," Comptroller Susan Combs said in a prepared statement. "Every Texan has a stake in water issues the state faces.”

Despite recent rains, 95 percent of the state remains in drought.

Read more
Texas
4:39 pm
Thu June 30, 2011

Anthony Graves Receives Compensation for Wrongful Imprisonment

Anthony Graves was awarded $1.45 million after being wrongly imprisoned for 18 years.
Erika Aguilar for KUT News

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs paid Anthony Graves $1.45 million today, to compensate for his 18 years of wrongful imprisonment. Graves was originally convicted of the 1992 killing a 45-year-old grandmother and five children. He served 12 years of his sentence on death row.

Read more
Texas
1:54 pm
Tue June 28, 2011

Judge Orders Comptroller to Testify Under Oath on Data Breach

Susan Combs is the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

A Travis County judge has ruled that Texas Comptroller Susan Combs must submit to a three-hour deposition to answer questions related to the largest data leak in Texas history. Combs issued a statement this afternoon saying she will appeal.

The comptroller revealed in April that the personal information of 3.5 million current and former state employees was stored on a publicly accessible computer server for about a year.

Read more
Politics
1:29 pm
Tue May 17, 2011

Texas Comptroller Adds $1.2 Billion to Available Revenue

Comptroller Combs says Texas economy will provide more revenues in the future.
Photo Courtesy The Texas Tribune

Texas Comptroller Susan Combs gave the state's couches a good search and has come up with an extra $1.2 billion to spend in the next budget biennium.

The increase in funds available for the 2012-2013 budget was based on what her office considers is a strengthening economy. That increase will also send an extra $300 million to the state's so called Rainy Day fund.

Read more
Texas
11:40 am
Tue May 3, 2011

How To Get A Year Of Free Credit Monitoring From Texas Comptroller

The 3.5 million people whose personal data was compromised by the Texas Comptroller can receive a year of free credit monitoring paid for with Comptroller campaign funds.
Photo by B. Rosen http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosengrant/

If your personal data was among the 3.5 million records leaked by the Texas Comptroller, you should have received a letter in the mail by now explaining how to set up free 90-day credit monitoring. What that letter didn't explain, however, was the subsequent decision by the comptroller to use her own campaign funds to pay for you to receive an entire year of credit monitoring and identity restoration services.

Read more
Texas
4:23 pm
Tue April 26, 2011

Legal Actions Taken Against Comptroller Over Privacy Invasion

Two Texas lawyers have filed a petition to request a permission to question Comb over the security breach, which exposed the personal information of 3.5 million Texans.
Image Courtesy of opensource.com http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/4638981545/

After state and federal investigations started over the State Comptroller's office's exposure of personal information for over 3.5 million people, now an outside group is joining in.  Two lawyers of the Texas Civil Rights Project are asking a Travis County court to give them permission to investigate the security lapse.

In response to the legal actions taken by the Texas Civil Rights Project, Combs emailed her response to KUT via her spokesperson.

Read more
Texas
1:12 pm
Mon April 11, 2011

Personal Information Of 3.5 Million Texans Exposed By Comptroller's Office

Digitally stored information of 3.5 million Texans, including social security numbers, was on a computer server that was publicly available.
Photo by pobre.ch http://www.flickr.com/photos/npobre/

Social security numbers, names, mailing addresses and other information of 3.5 million Texans were disclosed on a state computer server that was accessible to the public for about a year.  Comptroller Susan Combs' office issued this apology and explanation.

Read more
Politics
9:45 am
Mon January 10, 2011

Comptroller Projects State Revenue Will Be $72.2 Billion

Image by Dave Burnstein for KUT News

Texas comptroller Susan Combs estimates the state will generate $72.2 billion to spend on the 2012-2013 state budget. That's $5.6 billion less than the nearly $77.8 billion the state was certified to spend last legislative session two years ago. (Read the revenue estimate report here.)

The Comptroller says the state will bring in $76.5 billion over all, but Texas is already $4.3 billion behind on its current budget. The difference amounts to $72.2 billion.

Read more
environment
1:33 pm
Fri November 19, 2010

Texas Ditches Internet for New Wave of Appliance Rebates

The Texas Comptroller is using USPS to run its next round of appliance rebates after a web-based effort in April fell flat.
Image courtesy Texas Comptroller

If you were thinking of buying an energy efficient appliance for Christmas, stop! Wait until after December 20, and the state of Texas will literally give you money to buy it. But after some embarassing problems last spring, you won't be able to file for your rebate online.

Read more
2010 midterm elections
3:10 pm
Mon November 1, 2010

Perhaps the Biggest Election Issue Not Being Talked About

Hard cash will be in short supply next legislative session, if the state comptroller's estimates hold true. But the issue hasn't received much attention from candidates on the campaign trail.
Tracy Olson/Flickr flickr.com/tracy_olson/

Texas is staring down the barrel of a budget shortfall that could reach $25 billion or higher. It's a staggering figure, considering that California was practically brought to its knees over a $20 billion budget deficit. That was in a state that spends twice as much as Texas.

Read more