News & Press: Member Update

ACEC Texas Member Update - July 7, 2020

Tuesday, July 7, 2020  
Posted by: Michael Hancock
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Texas Engineering News & Updates


ACEC Texas


July 7, 2020

Comptroller Hegar Announces June Sales Tax Revenue

Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced last week that state sales tax revenue totaled $2.67 billion in June, 6.5% less than in June 2019. The majority of June sales tax revenue is based on sales made in May and remitted to the agency in June.

“The decline in state sales tax collections was driven principally by steep drops in remittances from oil and gas-related sectors,” Hegar said. “Collections from the construction and amusement service sectors were also sharply down.”Texas collected the following revenue from other major taxes:

  • motor vehicle sales and rental taxes — $394 million, down 7.6 percent from June 2019, a substantial improvement from results in April and May;
  • motor fuel taxes — $250 million, down 24 percent from June 2019;
  • natural gas production tax — $20 million, down 84 percent from June 2019;
  • oil production tax — $83 million, down 77 percent from June 2019;
  • hotel occupancy tax — $23 million, down 61 percent from June 2019, an improvement from the record decline in May; and
  • alcoholic beverage taxes — $65 million, down 47 percent from June 2019, significantly better than May’s results.

To view the complete press release, please click on the following link: Comptroller Press Release.

ACEC National Finance/HR/IT Forums 2020 – Sept. 14-15, San Antonio

If you are a Finance, HR, or IT professional in the A/E industry, ACEC National will be hosting three forums just around the corner. Early bird registration for the Finance, HR, and IT Forums ends on July 31st. ACEC National is looking to host the events in-person in San Antonio, TX on September 14th and 15th. For more information and to register to secure your spot, please click on the following hyperlinks:

FMI Releases Engineering and Construction Outlook

The Fails Management Institute (FMI) released their North American Engineering and Construction Outlook - Second Quarter 2020 Report.

Key Takeaways from the Report:

  • Total engineering and construction spending for the U.S. is forecast to end down 9 percent in 2020, compared to 0 percent growth in 2019.
  • All sectors and segments will see spending declines in 2020. Declines will be led by an abrupt contraction across residential and private nonresidential building segments. Current anticipated low-performing segments forecast in 2020 include religious (-20 percent), amusement and recreation (-17 percent), multifamily residential (-17 percent) and lodging (-15 percent). Milder declines are anticipated in select infrastructure and nonbuilding segments, including communication (-1 percent), highway and street (-3 percent), transportation (-4 percent) and public safety (-4 percent).
  • All segments that were previously in the up or stable categories have been downgraded to reflect the broad declines stated above. No segments remain in the up or stable categories.
  • FMI’s third quarter 2020 Nonresidential Construction Index (NRCI) at 36.9 reflects a stark 31 per-cent decline in industry sentiment from the second quarter reading. This is the most severe quarter-to-quarter decline reported in the history of conducting the NRCI. The diffusion index score, below the growth threshold of 50, indicates significant projected losses in future engineering and construction opportunities.

To view the complete report, please click on the following link: FMI Q2 Outlook Report.

U.S. Census Bureau Releases Construction Spending for May 2020

The United States Census Bureau released their monthly construction spending report for May 2020. The report states that total construction spending during May 2020 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,356.4 billion, 2.1% below the revised April estimate of $1,386.1 billion. The May figure is 0.3% above the May 2019 estimate of $1,352.9 billion. During the first five months of this year, construction spending amounted to $543.2 billion, 5.7% above the $513.7 billion for the same period in 2019.

To view the complete report, please click on the following link: Construction Spending - May 2020

Early Voting Underway for Primary Runoff & Special Election

Early voting for the 2020 Primary Runoff Election began on Monday, June 29th and will run through Friday, July 10th. Governor Abbott announced shortly after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Texas that runoff elections would be moved from May 26th to July 14th to allow election officials more time to prepare and take appropriate public health precautions. Runoff and special elections are usually very different from primary and general elections because candidates find it more difficult to turnout voters in these traditionally low-turnout elections. Although the March primaries gave us an idea of the support for each candidate, using that information as the basis for the expected turnout or result of a runoff or special election is unreliable. There are 35 primary runoff elections for Texas House and Senate nominations and one special election to fill an unexpired term for Texas Senate District 14 in Central Texas (Travis and Bastrop Counties). If you have a runoff or special election occurring in your area, please be sure to get out to the polls and vote!

To view who is on the runoff ballot, please click on the following link: Texas 2020 Runoff Ballot – Texas Tribune.

To find a polling location near you, please click on the following link: Texas Secretary of State Voting Information.

Congress Approves Extension of PPP

The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives approved a deadline extension for small businesses to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. President Trump gave final approval for the extension over the weekend. The original deadline was set for June 30th and has now been pushed back to August 8th. PPP loans were first established by Congress in March to help businesses keep their employees on the payroll during closures due to COVID-19. There is $130 billion remaining in PPP loan money.

For more information on PPP loans, please click on the following link:
U.S. Small Business Administration PPP Loans.


Texas Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors

P.E. Ethics Webinar: The Board is offering free ethics webinars to assist license holders with meeting their ethics requirement. Each webinar provides an up-to-date overview of agency activities, case studies, and a review of professional ethics topics.Registration is open at this time, and please click on the following link for more information: TBPELS Ethics Webinar Information.

Texas Department of Transportation

TxDOT Overhead Audit Submittal Extension (Sent Last Week)
MEMO from Martin Rodin, PE - TxDOT PEPS Division Director:
I am sending this message today to advise our partners in the Texas Consulting Community that TxDOT PEPS Division is providing a one-time 30 day extension of all Administrative Qualifications for firms that are currently Administratively Qualified on the Department’s published AQ list on the PEPS website. This extension recognizes the operations time that was lost due to a recent ransomware attack and the subsequent recovery time on TxDOT networks and systems. To be clear, submittal deadlines for overhead audit reports that are currently due on June 30th are now extended for an additional 30 days to July 30th, 2020.If you have not already submitted an overhead audit for review, please submit by July 30th, 2020.Do not confuse this one-time 30-day extension to July 30th, 2020 with the 90-day extension that PEPS Division can grant to firms that have already submitted their overhead audit for renewal. Please remember that the 90-day extension only applies for firms that have submitted their overhead audit package to TxDOT for review.

Texas Water Development Board

Extension of Nomination Deadline: The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has extended the deadline to July 17 for nominations of potential members of Texas’ first-ever regional flood planning groups. The 15 regional planning groups, formed around river basin boundaries, will require 12 representatives of specific interest categories, including agriculture, industries, river authorities, counties, municipalities, water districts, flood districts, electric generating utilities, water utilities, environmental interests, small businesses, and the public. The planning groups will develop regional flood plans by January 2023, which will culminate in the inaugural state flood plan in 2024. Interested candidates can fill out a nomination form available on the TWDB website. Forms must be submitted by July 17, and the TWDB will select planning group members by early fall.

Today's News Clips

  • US Supreme Court deals blow to Keystone oil pipeline project
  • State Sales Tax Revenue Totaled $2.7 Billion in June
  • 'Wrong Pipeline In The Wrong Place' — Nationwide Litigation Could Affect Permian Highway Pipeline
  • New development proposed near Greenwood, Holly
  • Fort Bend ISD may put off construction on schools in growth areas as long-term economic effects of coronavirus remain unknown
  • Two Democrats Face Off For Chance To Flip Travis County Commissioner's Court Seat From Red To Blue
  • Lubbock state lawmaker calling for special session
  • Hutto eyes land annexation as future growth strategy

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