Module 8 Memo

Instructions

Students are to utilize the same local or state government from short papers #1 and #2 to research a public finance dilemma in their chosen local or state government. Students should prepare an 8-10 page public finance recommendation addressed to the head of that government (i.e., mayor, commission chair, or governor) with the following components:

  • Executive Summary
  • Background: Organizational Structure, Economic Conditions/Outlook, and Fiscal Policies, major revenue sources and major expenditures.
  • Problem Statement: Identification of high cost/major expenditure
  • Analysis of Expenditure:
    • What are expenditures? What programs are covered under this expenditure?
    • What is public good and choice? How does this expenditure reflect both?
    • How does political equilibrium affect public finance? What is the political equilibrium of your chosen expenditure?
    • What is cost-benefit analysis? What are the findings of a cost-benefit of your expenditure’s programs?
    • What are different revenue strategies? What taxation strategies are used to fund your expenditure’s programs?
  • Recommendations:
    • Is the current funding level appropriate for this public good?
    • What changes should be made to the revenue streams and expenditure level?
    • How will these changes impact the local or state government’s service to constituents?

Must be in APA format 

8-10 pages

see attachment to build on.  

MEMORANDUM

TO: Governor Greg Abbott, Texas

FROM: Mina Prophitt

DATE: April 13, 2020

RE: Summary of public funds in Texas.

The primary goal of this memo is to give an overview of the public funds in Texas. There are various types of funds found in Texas. These different types, however, allocated to different sectors such as education, transports, and many more. In a long time now, there has been misuse of public funds in the city of Texas. The person mandated to ensure that all the funds are appropriately allocated to these sectors is the governor. He is responsible for administering all the funds to the respective departments in the city. After that, he is expected to make a follow-up to ensure that greedy officials do not misuse public funds. In any case, he is expected to take firm action against such officials. The paper will explain in detail the types of funds in Texas. It will also analyze the general fund budget of Texas, the primary sources of revenues, expenditures. It will also give an analysis of whether the budget of Texas is balanced or not.

Types of Funds.

Texas categorized its funds based on the sources of those funds and its general functions. The main types of funds include education and the general fund. This type of fund has 34 sources. The primary purpose of this fund is to facilitate learning in the universities available in Texas. The state of Texas funds 14 accounts; hence the source of funds in 14 accounts is the state of Texas. On the other hand, the 20 accounts are funded by a body known as Available University Funds, whose primary source of income is the investments in the Permanent University Funds. The rules and laws governing the expenditure of this fund are formulated and mandated by the university and the state of Texas Comptroller’s office (Darrell, 2017).

Secondly, there are service center funds. This type of fund has 18 accounts. The primary purpose of this fund is to avail necessary products and equipment to service centers as well as the universities and colleges conducting research. The primary source of this fund is acquired from charging universities and colleges at approved and fair rates. These rates are usually included in the fee structures. Therefore, the service centers conduct their businesses on a break-even basis. This implies that they offer their services throughout. The law governing the allocation of this fund stipulates that the expenses should be related to the operation and functionality of the service centers. Third, there are designated funds. This kind of fund has 19 accounts. The role of this fund is to ensure that the special people in society receive goods and services that will aid in their survival and living in the community. The primary source of income for these accounts is the external revenues such as those of sales, goods, and services. The law governing the allocation of this fund is the expenditure restrictions, which are based on the source of funds.

Contracts and grants is another type of fund in Texas. It has 26 accounts. The primary source of income for this type of fund is the federal government, the state, local government, and private sources. The primary purpose of this fund is to ensure that all contracts have financial support based on the statement of work signed before the implementation of the contract. The law governing the issuance of this fund is the grant and agreement signed. Auxiliary enterprise funds have 29 accounts, and it is used to support personal projects such as school fees for students. The expenditure of this fund should be related to such projects to ensure proper allocation. Gift funds have 30 accounts, and it is used to receive donations from sponsors that will help in educational projects or specific programs. Hence spending this fund on random projects is restricted. Loan funds have 32 accounts, and it is used to support students with financial challenges in schools through loans. There is an interest in such loans, which acts as a source of income for this fund.

Unexpended plant funds have 36 accounts, and it is used for activities such as building and construction, renovations, and other projects. Investment in the plan is another fund with 39 accounts. It is used in servicing fixed assets such as land, equipment, books, buildings. Agency funds have 41 accounts. It is used to support the mission of different agencies, like universities, colleges. These agencies earn some benefits when they act as fiscal agents. Endowment funds have 57 accounts. It is used to collect gifts endowed to the state by different donors. It is, therefore, not expendable. The expenditure for this type of fund follows the stipulations of the donor (Calvert, 2020). Thus, the governor of Texas should monitor the officials of these offices managing the funds because they answer to the governor. It will ensure that all funds are appropriately allocated according to the laws stipulated by the governing bodies. In general, the public funds will be allocated appropriately hence benefiting the people of the society.

Overview of General Fund Budget.

The governor of Texas is mandated by the state to sign the final budget before presenting it to other executive officials. The discussions, however, are done by the senate and the house. The two chambers held negotiations concerning the allocation of the funds to different sectors such as education, transportation bills, and others before approving it. The overall budget of 2016-17, signed by Governor Abbott, was 209.4 billion dollars (Aman &Becca, 2015). This was the actual budget of Texas as per 2016-17. It was, however, lower than the proposed budgets by the two chambers. Initially, the house had proposed an overall budget of 209.8 billion dollars. Contrary to this, the senate proposed a budget of 211.4 billion dollars. The breakdown of the total budget is as follows. The actual budget for general revenue spending was 106.6 billion dollars. The proposed budget for this sector by the house and the senate were 104.6 and 107.4 billion dollars, respectively. The actual budget for public education was 41.2 billion dollars. The proposed budgets by the house and the senate were 37.7 and 41.6 billion dollars, respectively.

The actual budget for higher education was 19.9 billion dollars. The proposed budgets by the house and the senate were 19.6 and 19.8 billion dollars, respectively. The actual budget for Medicaid was 61.2 billion dollars. The proposed budgets by the house and the senate were 62.9 and 62.1 billion dollars, respectively. The actual budget for transportation funding was 23.1 billion dollars. Proposed budgets by the house and the senate were 24.8 and 24.5 billion dollars, respectively. 3.8 billion dollars was the actual budget for tax and cuts. The proposed budgets by the house and the senate were 4.9 and 4.4 billion dollars, respectively. Eight hundred million dollars was the actual budget for border security. The house and the senate proposed 565.2 and 850.6 million dollars, respectively (Aman & Becca, 2015).

The actual budget for emerging technology was zero, which was the same as the proposals by the house and the senate. 16.7 million dollars was the actual budget for texas racing commission. The house and the senate proposed 16.7 and zero million dollars, respectively. Correctional officer pay was allocated 188 million dollars. The house and the senate proposed 276.5 and 102.8 million dollars, respectively. The film industry was allocated 32 million dollars. The house and the senate proposed 73.7 and 10 million dollars, respectively. The actual budget for sex offender housing was 24.4 million dollars. The house and senate proposed 24.4 and 20.4 million dollars, respectively. Lastly, 3.6 billion dollars was allocated to mental health. The proposed budgets by the house and the senate were 3.8 and 3.7 billion dollars.

Revenue Sources and Major Expenditures.

The primary source of revenue for any government is taxes. There are several types of taxes. They include income tax, which is collected for personal income. General sales tax is obtained from the retail shops. Excise tax is collected from specific goods like gasoline. Ad valorem tax is received from the valuable property. According to this budget, the primary source of revenue for the federal government, Texas state, and the local government was an income tax, sales tax, and ad valorem tax, respectively. The significant expenditures by Texas include the health and the education sectors. Texas spends over 70% on these two sectors alone. The expense of the health sector is 36.8% of the entire budget. On the other hand, Texas spends 36.7% of its budget on education (Texas, 2016).

From the above information, it can be deduced that the budget of Texas is balanced. This is because the government of Texas spends more money on education, health, and transport. In return, the revenues earned by the state has been seen to increase day in day out. This implies that the income earned can be used to fund these sectors. The expenditures of Texas, furthermore, are in line with the fiscal policies if the state. The top fiscal policies governing the state of Texas include good infrastructure. Texas, therefore, allocated a significant amount of money on transport. The other fiscal policy in Texas is quality health services, as well as advanced education to the community. Thus, Texas allocates more funds to education and health sectors; hence the expenditures of Texas are in line with its fiscal policies. In general, the governor runs the state. Thus he is mandated to ensure that everything runs well and effectively.

References

Aman, B., & Becca, A. (June 2015). A Closer Look at the Final 2016-17 State Budget. Retrieved from: https://www.texastribune.org/2015/06/02/look-final-2016-17-budget/

Calvert, R. A., De Leon, A., & Cantrell, G. (2020). The history of Texas. John Wiley & Sons.

Darrell, B. (2017). Handbook of Business Procedures. Fund Accounting; TYPES OF FUNDS. Retrieved from: https://financials.utexas.edu/hbp/part-2/2-types-of-funds

Texas Government. (2016). Texas Budget and Revenue. Retrieved from: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/odessa-texasgovernment/chapter/budget-revenue/