Texas ranks fifth nationally in both dairy production and its dairy cow population, and the industry is growing rapidly despite recent challenges such as inclement weather and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the just-released June/July edition of “Fiscal Notes,” the comptroller’s office examines the economic impact of Texas dairy farms. They account for a total economic impact of $50.3 billion in Texas, or nearly 3 percent of the gross state product.

“Animals have a huge impact on our daily lives, from farm animals that provide food for our tables to pets that become part of our families,” Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said. “New technologies are changing the way we interact with animals and leading to greater efficiencies in a number of key sectors. The Texas dairy industry is looking toward the future and increasingly leveraging technology — including a sort of bovine Fitbit to assess health.”

In this issue, they also examined a sales tax applied to animal adoptions at rescue organizations and the upcoming changes to the law. To receive a sales tax exemption on adoptions, current law requires animal welfare groups to own the facilities where they house homeless animals. Because of the negative impact on rescue organizations and costs to local governments, the comptroller’s office worked with legislators and stakeholders to change the current law.

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