ROADS/BRIDGES: Transportation funding measure in Texas has lawmakers on edge

Concerns are being voiced as to what effect funding approval would have on the Lone Star state’s credit rating

Funding News October 09, 2014
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On Nov. 4, Texas residents will decide whether to approve a state constitutional amendment known as Proposition 1, which would effectively earmark monies derived from oil and gas production taxes for a transportation fund aimed at bolstering the state’s cash-poor department of transportation.
The State Highway Fund, to which the diverted taxes would funnel, would provide the DOT means to maintain existing roads and keep a sharper eye on mitigating roadway degradation. Moreover, the present valley of debt the department is facing could be softened, if not eliminated altogether. Yet despite these positive intents, some lawmakers remain dubious.
Concerns that the fund would not make the construction of new toll roads a reality, along with a potentially negative impact the fund might have on the state’s Triple-A credit rating, bring a sense of anticipation to the November vote.
Nonetheless, there is confidence among some Congressional members that Texans will see the benefits of this amendment. According to State Rep. Joe Pickett (D-El Paso), who is the chair of the Transportation Funding Committee, Proposition 1 would protect the existing Economic Stabilization Fund by effectively “sharing” the largesse of the oil and gas tax revenues. 

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