Texas Senate, House have different transportation funding plans

July 12, 2013

The Texas Senate and House have proposed two radically different plans to raise money for transportation spending, according to a report from our sister site, Better Roads.

The Texas Senate on Thursday passed Senate Joint Resolution 1 (SJR1), which would collect $900 million a year, beginning November 2014, from the oil and gas industry’s severance taxes and give that money to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). The measure will need to be approved by voters in November before becoming a constitutional amendment.

While the Senate intends to use severance taxes, the Texas House is looking to state gasoline taxes for highway funding. The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved House Joint Resolution 2 (HJR2) with a vote of 22-0.

The measure would remove a constitutional requirement that sends a quarter of the state’s gasoline taxes to public education. Instead, the approximately $900 collected would go to TxDOT, while K-12 would receive funding from Texas’ general revenue.

HJR2 is headed to the House floor. If the House approves the measure, Texas voter will have to approve it as well before it becomes a constitutional amendment.

The committee also passed a companion measure that would send a third of new motor vehicle sales taxes to TxDOT, starting in 2016.

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