FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11/24/2014
REP. SIMMONS FILES HB 373 TO INCREASE TRANSPORTATION FUNDING
Legislation Directs Motor Vehicle Sales Tax Revenue to State Highway Fund
CARROLLTON – State Representative Ron Simmons filed House Bill 373 to direct motor vehicle sales, rental and use tax collections to the State Highway Fund. Currently, the majority of motor vehicle sales tax collections are deposited to the state's General Revenue fund, with portions of the revenue dedicated to the Property Tax Relief Fund (PTRF) and the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) account.
"By passing Proposition 1 with nearly 80 percent of the vote earlier this month, voters made it clear that improving the state's transportation infrastructure system is a top priority for Texans," said Simmons. "While this was an important step, additional funding is still needed to meet the growing needs of our state. HB 373 will further increase funding available for transportation projects in Texas by dedicating the revenue collected from motor vehicle sales taxes to the State Highway Fund."
Proposition 1 amended the Texas Constitution to transfer a portion of excess oil and gas tax revenue to the State Highway Fund. Current projections indicate the first transfer would amount to an additional $1.75 billion available for transportation funding in 2014. Dedicating motor vehicle sales tax collections to the State Highway Fund as described by HB 373 could increase funding available for transportation by an even greater amount, considering that 2013 vehicle sales tax collections totaled $3.487 billion.
"Providing a safe and stable transportation system is a core function of government," continued Simmons. "HB 373 proposes to use a sensible revenue source, motor vehicle sales tax collections, to address this core function. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Texas House to gain support for this proposal and to prioritize transportation funding and financing during the 84th Legislation Session."
House Bill 373 proposes to increase the percentage of motor vehicle sales, rental and use taxes deposited in the State Highway Fund each year so that 100 percent of the collections are deposited in the fund by 2020. The bill stipulates that these funds cannot be used for toll roads, rail transportation or trolleys.