Beginning in 1991, the Comptroller of Public Accounts was required by the Texas Legislature to report on state expenditures by county. This report continues the series begun in 1991.
Section I is a summary of net expenditures by county for major spending categories; a summary of net expenditures by county, ranked by total; and a table that details state agency expenditures by county. Section II provides similar information by council of government region. In both of these sections, certain expenditures are listed as "unallocable" to Texas counties. Unallocable items include payments made to out-of-state and out-of-country vendors, where the payment cannot be assigned to a specific Texas county.
State agencies listed under each county and planning region are in numerical order, based upon an assigned agency code. For reference, an alphabetical list of state agencies is provided in Section I A. Section II A provides a list and a map of counties by state planning region.
In this report, State expenditures are limited to net expenditures as reflected in the Uniform Statewide Accounting System. Net expenditures are, generally speaking, purchases of goods and services. Excluded from net expenditures are purchases of investments; some payments from trust or suspense accounts, such as allocations of local sales tax to cities, counties and transit authorities; benefit payments to retired teachers and state employees; all types of interfund transfers; and repayment of debt principal.
Reported net expenditures are limited to those made from accounts held in the State Treasury, including the state’s General Revenue Fund, all special funds and all trust funds. Funds handled outside the treasury’s accounting system, such as those held by universities in local banks, are not included.
This report is generated from a cash accounting system. It reflects only net expenditures made during fiscal 2001, from September 1, 2000 to August 31, 2001. Accrued expenses and encumbrances are not included. The methodology for allocating expenditures to counties has improved and evolved over time. Because of these improvements in allocating expenses to counties, the data contained in this report may not be consistent with data from earlier reports.
Some categories may show a negative amount. In most cases this means that a payment made in an earlier fiscal year has been wholly or partially refunded, or that a minor processing error has been corrected.
Major Spending Categories
In all tables, state expenditures are broken down into the following major categories that generally parallel those used in the 2001 Annual Cash Report:
Intergovernmental Payments include grants to schools, colleges and local governments; allocations of mixed beverage taxes to cities and counties, and textbooks for public schools and distribution of Foundation School Program funds to local school districts.
Labor Costs are salaries, wages, employee benefits payments, travel expenses and fees for professional consultant services. Also included is the state’s share of retirement contributions on behalf of state employees and public school teachers.
Public Assistance is composed of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, grants-in-aid, child support payments and similar state services.
Highway Construction and Maintenance includes purchases of highway right-of-way and the expenses of constructing and maintaining the state’s roads and bridges. This differs from the 2001 Annual Cash Report which lists Maintenance and Repairs of Roads and Highways under Repairs and Maintenance, whereas this report shows it under Highway Construction, as it has in prior years.
Operating Expenses are for supplies, maintenance, utilities, rentals, leases, printing and non-capitalized equipment.
Capital Outlay expenditures are for land and buildings, major improvements to state property, computer equipment, motor vehicles, aircraft and capitalized purchases of furniture and equipment.
Miscellaneous includes all other expenditures, such as fees, court costs, interest on debt, lottery payments and payment of claims and judgments.
Adjustments to the Uniform Statewide Accounting System
The source of most of the data in this report is the Uniform Statewide Accounting System (USAS), the computerized accounting system used by the Comptroller’s office for reporting and controlling all expenditures for Texas state government. In some cases, however, the inconsistencies between the requirements of an accounting system and the needs of an accurate report of state expenditures by county required an adjustment to the distribution of state expenditures to counties.
Expenditure data in USAS are taken from vouchers submitted by state agencies for payment of goods and services. Vouchers, which contain a citation of the legal authority for the payment, result in a state warrant or check—which can be a piece of paper or an electronic transfer—to the vendor of the goods or services. Vendors can be individuals, businesses, organizations or government entities.
Distribution of most state expenditures among the counties relies upon a computerized file that includes the name and mailing address of each vendor. Because USAS is designed for accounting and not assessing economic impact, the address of each vendor does not necessarily indicate where the goods or services are delivered. Adjustments to the underlying USAS data are limited to large expenditure categories that, if not reallocated, would significantly misrepresent the distribution of state funds to counties.
For example, under USAS, some major state expenditures, such as state employee benefit payments, appear to be made only in Travis County since it is the headquarters for most state agencies. For this report, these payments, which include expenditures for insurance, retirement contributions and social security, were adjusted as follows:
- unemployment compensation benefits to former state employees and insurance payments for current employees were reallocated based upon a percentage of state employees in each county;
- employee social security and retirement payments were allocated by a ratio of state employee salaries by county and by agency, based upon USAS data; and
- state contributions to the Teacher Retirement System were allocated to counties based on where payments to retirees from the trust fund were made. Although the amount paid to retirees out of the trust fund was more than the state’s contribution to the fund, a ratio was created to allocate the smaller amount.
In addition, the following state agencies provided information used to make adjustments:
- The Department of Human Services provided information regarding payments for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and for nursing home care that were used to make a proportional distribution by county.
- The Texas Department of Transportation provided information on highway construction and maintenance to more accurately allocate expenditures to the county in which the construction was performed.
- The Department of Health provided information on Medicaid clients by county, which was used to adjust both fee-for-service and managed care Medicaid expenditures.
- Payments made by the Department of Health for the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children were adjusted using the statewide distribution of the program’s client population.
- The Attorney General’s office provided a county distribution of child support payments.
- The Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation provided information used to reallocate to other counties certain large payments made to vendors in Travis County who provided home- and community-based services and intermediate care facilities for people with mental retardation to clients outside Travis County.
Transactions made under Object Code 7830, Disbursement of Disproportionate Share Funds to State Hospitals and Object Code 7832, State Hospital Payments of State Matching Disproportionate Share Funds, to the Texas Department of Health, were moved to "Expenditures Unallocable to Texas Counties."
Smaller objects of expenditure have not been redistributed and may still be depicted in the county where payment was made rather than in the county where goods or services were delivered. For example, a Dallas company may deliver computer equipment to a state office in El Paso, but in the accounting system, the expenditure would be recorded as occurring in Dallas County.