FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 05/31/2015
MAJOR TRANSPORTATION FUNDING LEGISLATION PASSED BY BOTH HOUSE AND SENATE
AUSTIN – The Texas House of Representatives adopted a resolution that would dedicate billions in additional transportation funding on Saturday, a day after the resolution’s conference committee report was adopted by the Senate. Senate Joint Resolution 5 proposes a constitutional amendment dedicating a portion of general sales tax revenue to the State Highway Fund. State Representative Ron Simmons, who served on the conference committee for the resolution, said this legislation is a major step for transportation funding in Texas.
"SJR 5 will go a long way toward alleviating the continued shortfall in state highway funding,” said Simmons. “Both elected officials and the public have signaled transportation funding is a major concern and SJR 5 will allow TxDOT to allocate more funds to alleviate congestion, repair bridges, and improve and maintain our infrastructure. SJR 5 also specifies that the additional funds may not be used for toll roads.”
SJR 5 is a bipartisan resolution that transfer up to $2.5 billion annually of general sales tax revenue to the State Highway Fund, beginning in 2018. Given conservative estimates, this measure could increase transportation funding by $3 billion annually beginning in 2020.
“SJR 5 would allocate more funding for much-needed transportation projects without raising taxes or fees,” said Simmons. “By capturing existing revenue, we can enhance our state’s transportation infrastructure without placing additional burdens on taxpayers.”
The proposed constitutional amendment also includes measures that allow for flexibility to the transfer should there be a downturn in the economy and collections. If collections for a fiscal year are below $28 billion, then no money will be transferred from the general sales tax collections to the State Highway Fund.
If approved by a majority of voters on November 3, 2015, SJR 5 will amend the Texas Constitution to provide a more stable source of revenue for transportation funding in Texas.