Glossary: Fiscal Policy in Texas

ad valorem taxes: taxes that multiply the appraised value of a property by a tax rate set by the governing body of the local government.

appropriations: authorization by the legislature to a government agency or body to spend up to a particular amount of money

Biennial Revenue Estimate (BRE): a detailed forecast of the revenue that the state is expected to take in over the next biennium that is prepared by the comptroller's oce

debt: the total amount the government owes across all years

deficit: the annual amount by which expenditures are greater than revenues

discretionary spending: government spending that Congress must pass legislation to authorize each year

excise taxes: taxes applied to specific goods or services as a source of revenue

fiscal policy: the use of government revenue collection (mainly taxes) and expenditure (spending) to influence the economy

mandatory spending: government spending earmarked for entitlement programs guaranteeing support to those who meet certain qualifications

progressive tax: a tax that tends to increase the eective tax rate as the wealth or income of the tax payer increases

regressive tax: a tax applied at a lower overall rate as individuals’ income rises, thus, the tax burden falls more heavily on lower-income individuals

severance taxes: taxes imposed on the removal of natural resources within a taxing jurisdiction, which are most commonly imposed in oil-producing states within the United States; resources that typically incur severance taxes when extracted include oil, natural gas, coal, uranium, and timber

strategic plan: a plan that includes 1) a mission statement, 2) a statement about the goals of the agency, 3) a discussion of the population served by the agency, 4) an explanation of the means that will be used to achieve these goals, and 5) identification of the measures to be used to assess the agency's success in meeting these goals