In 1991, the General Appropriations Act first required the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to report on state expenditures by county. This report continues the series started in 1991.
Section I provides 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 includes similar information by council of government region. In both sections, some expenditures are listed as “unallocable” to Texas counties. Unallocable expenditures include payments made to out-of-state and out-of-country vendors and payments that cannot be assigned to a specific Texas county.
State agencies listed under each county and planning region are in numerical order, based on an assigned agency code. For reference, this report includes an alphabetical list of state agencies in Section I A. Section II A provides a list and a map of counties by state planning region.
This report limits state expenditures to net expenditures as reflected in the Uniform Statewide Accounting System. Net expenditures refer to 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 and all types of interfund transfers and repayment of debt principal.
Net expenditures are also limited to those made from accounts held by the Comptroller’s Treasury Operations, including the state’s General Revenue Fund, all special funds and all trust funds. Funds handled outside the Treasury Operations’ accounting system, such as those held by universities in local banks, are not included.
This report is generated from a cash accounting system, reflecting only net expenditures made during fiscal 2002, from September 1, 2001 to August 31, 2002. Accrued expenses and encumbrances are not included. The methodology for allocating expenditures to counties continues to improve with each report period. Consequently, the data contained in this report may not be consistent with data from prior reports.
In some instances, a category may show a negative amount. This may indicate 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
All tables of this report list state expenditures in categories that generally parallel those used in the 2002 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 (TANF), 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 2002 Annual Cash Report that lists Maintenance and Repairs of Roads and Highways under Repairs and Maintenance. This report lists these expenditures under Highway Construction, as it has in prior years.
Operating Expenses are 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 Uniform Statewide Accounting System (USAS) provided most of the data in this report. The Comptroller’s office uses USAS, a computerized accounting system, 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.
The Comptroller’s office takes expenditure data from USAS in the form of 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 state warrants or checks—which can be an electronic transfer or a check—to the vendor of the goods or services. Vendors can be individuals, businesses, organizations or government entities.
The distribution of most state expenditures among the counties relies upon a computerized file that includes the name and mailing address of each vendor. USAS is designed for tracking accounting transactions, not for assessing the location of an expenditure. Consequently, a vendor’s address does not consistently indicate where the purchased goods or services are delivered. The Comptroller’s office makes adjustments to the underlying USAS data for large expenditure categories that, if not reallocated, would significantly misrepresent the distribution of state funds to counties.
With USAS, for example, certain major expenditures, such as state employee benefit payments, may appear to be made only in Travis County since it is the headquarters for most state agencies. In this report, such payments, including expenditures for insurance, retirement contributions and social security, are adjusted as follows:
- unemployment compensation benefits to former state employees and insurance payments for current employees are reallocated based upon a percentage of state employees in each county;
- employee social security and retirement payments are 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 are allocated to counties based on where payments to retirees from the trust fund were made.
The following state agencies supplied the Comptroller’s office with information used to make adjustments and were invited to review and comment on the data published in this report:
- the Texas Education Agency provided expenditure data on textbooks for public free schools;
- 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 Human Services provided information on payments for TANF and for nursing home care that were used to make a proportional distribution by county;
- the Department of Health provided information on Medicaid clients by county. This data was used to adjust fee-for-service and managed care Medicaid expenditures;
- payments made by the Texas Department of Health for the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children were adjusted using a statewide distribution of the program’s client population;
- the Attorney General’s office provided a county distribution of child support payments; and
- 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 that 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 reflected in the county where payment was made, not in the county where goods or services were delivered.