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News Release from Comptroller Susan Combs

Contact: Allen Spelce or R.J. DeSilva
512-463-4070

For Immediate Release
August 15, 2007

Comptroller Launches Texas EDGE to Provide Local Governments Information on Economic Data for Growth and Expansion


AUSTIN —Texas Comptroller Susan Combs proudly introduces Texas EDGE, an online research service designed to help local governments and economic development organizations analyze facts and figures. Available at www.window.state.tx.us/texasedge/, this expanded research service will provide governments, developers and businesses across the state with data and analysis useful in revenue planning, financial analysis, economic forecasting, site location decisions and other issues affecting trade and industry growth.

“Community leaders need a range of valuable information to help make plans for future growth, and the Comptroller’s office offers a comprehensive system for thorough data and analysis at a convenient point of access readily available to the public,” Combs said. “The wide variety of information gathered by our staff of researchers, analysts and economists will aid decision makers in directly impacting the future state economy.”

Typically, when communities need detailed information regarding work force statistics, transportation, education, supply chains, tax rates and more, they invest a substantial amount of time and effort to gather and analyze data. But with Texas EDGE — an acronym for Economic Data for Growth and Expansion — the Comptroller’s office presents an innovative tool for compiling free, in-depth economic information and analysis.

Using Texas EDGE, community leaders can research and analyze data in a shorter amount of time by letting the Comptroller’s knowledgeable staff retrieve information about economic activity. Texas EDGE can also provide economic analysis of specific geographic areas impacted by natural disasters, demographic shifts and tax policies.

“In regards to fiscal analysis, our staff can provide regional economic modeling to analyze how increased employment or other changes can impact an economy,” Combs said. “We also inform economic and work force development professionals about trends in various regional industries and occupations to ensure today’s workers have jobs tomorrow. Using current reports, projections and demographics in a selected region, we can filter and organize results using multiple criteria such as number and percent change of jobs, education level, earnings and more.”

Texas EDGE features a variety of tools, some of which allow users to run customized reports, and community leaders can request a tailored analysis from the Comptroller’s office to obtain county- level employment data or multi-county reports. Local governments and development organizations can also request regional economic model reports analyzing the effect of business locations and other economic changes in specific areas. The Comptroller’s office has access to several different models for economic forecasting and policy analysis.

“Communities across Texas — big and small — need detailed information and analysis to more efficiently plan for an increasing population and industry expansion,” said Carlton Schwab, president and CEO of the Texas Economic Development Council. “Texas EDGE will now offer that high level of customization and specialization without limited public accessibility. This service combines data from various economic sectors, rather than having to integrate data from different products and services.”

Furthermore, governments and businesses can request overviews of economic data for any Texas county, ask for detailed demographic and/or work force analyses of specific Texas areas, request maps showing public infrastructure and collect information on local tax rates, collections and tax options available for any area.

“We’re putting vital information to use while enabling local governments and businesses to make important decisions regarding economic development,” Combs said. “With Texas EDGE, you’re not required to know a complicated system, and you don’t have to master special analysis tools. Our staff can show community leaders how to find the information they need quickly, or we can offer a customized report and do the research for you.”

Visit Window on State Government at www.window.state.tx.us to learn more about the Texas Comptroller’s office and its Local Government Assistance and Economic Development Division, devoted to providing technical assistance and information to local Texas governments through a variety of services, including economic development and fiscal reports and local government management assistance.

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