ROADS/BRIDGES: Texas DOT still needs billions more

State Senate to act on measure that would pull car sales tax revenue to the transportation fund

News February 26, 2015
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Last November the Texas DOT received a boost from the voters when they approved a measure that called for the shifting of excess oil and gas production tax revenue over to the transportation fund. Now the state Senate is generating another pick-me-up.
The Texas Senate Transportation Committee moved two measures to the Senate floor on Feb. 25. The proposals involve the sales tax on vehicles that are sold. The vehicle sales tax revenue that currently goes to the Texas general fund would be capped at $2.5 billion a year, with the remaining funds going to the DOT. If a total of $5 billion are generated, then the DOT and general fund would split any additional revenue.
The move would require a change in the Texas constitution, which must be approved by the voters.
Despite the ballot victory in November, which is expected to generate an additional $1.5 billion a year, Texas is still looking at a $2.5 billion transportation-funding shortfall.
“Transportation is one of the core functions of the state,” said Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Robert Nichols, who wrote the car sales tax legislation. “And it’s a core function that’s been shorted for a long time.”

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