Primary Season State Profile: Texas

Published by Peter Lawrence on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 12:00am

In 2014, 18 percent of Texas’s nearly 27 million residents lived in poverty, including about 25 percent of children. Those levels put Texas 38th nationally. Also in 2014, Texas ranked 50th for health insurance coverage and 49th in food insecurity. Approximately one quarter of all African Americans (24.9 percent), Asian Americans (25.9 percent) and Latinos (26.2) in Texas live in poverty. More than 800,000 households in Texas pay more than half their income on rent.

Politics

  • Presidential Caucus: March 1, 2016
  • Number of delegates: 155 Republican/252 Democratic
  • Allocation method: Winner-take-most (Republican); Proportional (Democratic)
  • 38 electoral votes
  • 2012 Results: Mitt Romney won Texas by 57 percent to 41 percent over President Obama.

Tax Credit Usage in Texas

In 2015, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs approved $620 million in low-income housing tax credit (LIHTCs) for 64 affordable rental housing developments. Many readers know that Texas was the setting for last summer’s historic Supreme Court disparate impact ruling. To understand Texas’s LIHTC priorities the state’s qualified allocation plan (QAP) is here.

Blog Graph Snapshot: LIHTC Properties and Poverty Rates in Texas
Click to Enlarge

The LIHTC, new markets tax credit (NMTC) and historic tax credit (HTC) have combined to assist in the addition of more than 315,000 jobs in Texas. For other impacts the credits have had in the state, see the table below.

Blog Graph LIHTC, NMTC and HTC Use in Texas
Click to Enlarge

Renewable Energy Landscape

Texas ranks first in the country for both installed and under-construction wind capacity, while supporting more than 17,000 wind-related jobs according to the American Wind Energy Association. The currently installed 17,713 MW of installed wind capacity is the most of any state and the 10,403 wind turbines rank second. Texas currently generates 9 percent of its in-state electricity from wind power. There are 5,026 MW of wind capacity under construction in Texas that will soon add to the 118 wind projects currently online in the state.

There were 129 MW of solar capacity installed in Texas in 2014. The state ranked 8th nationally in 2014 installed solar capacity, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The 387 MW of solar energy currently installed in Texas ranks the state 10th in the country. SEIA says several large retailers in Texas have gone solar, including Target, REI, Campbell’s Soup and Ikea. At its location in Round Rock, Ikea has installed one of the largest corporate photovoltaic systems in the state with 1633 kW of solar capacity. There are currently more than 417 solar companies at work in Texas, employing 7,000 people.