AUSTIN (AP) – The Texas comptroller’s office says it now expects the state to collect at least $5 billion in unanticipated revenue during the present two-year budget cycle.

The Austin American-Statesman reports the disclosure by Comptroller Susan Combs comes as the state seeks $9.8 billion in short-term loans. Combs says sales tax collections are running about $1.5 billion ahead of projections. Previously, she had reported that the state had a $1.6 billion cash balance.

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Fiscal analyst Eva DeLuna Castro of the Austin-based nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Public Policy Priorities says even the $5 billion is a conservative figure. She says history suggests that state revenue could swell with a rise in personal income in the state.

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