AUSTIN (AP) – The state’s chief revenue estimator says Texas tax revenues have bounced back to levels nearly equal to pre-recession levels.

John Heleman briefed the state House Ways and Means committee on Wednesday. He said taxes on retail sales, motor vehicles and oil production are near 2008 levels. Only natural gas taxes are lagging, mostly due to low prices.

The state’s Rainy Day Fund, which is financed with oil and gas revenues, is expected to reach roughly $7 billion by the next legislative session in 2013.

The committee received the update as it monitors the state’s economy. State revenues are performing as expected.

Lawmakers also asked about raising the business tax exemption from $300,000 to $1 million. Heleman said that will cost the state $150 million over two years.

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