Press Release: Texas Business Groups and Cities Support Dedicated Revenue Source for Transportation Funding

By March 24, 2015 No Comments

Texas Business Groups and Cities Support Dedicated Revenue Source for Transportation Funding
Borrowing no longer an option, we need a stable source of funding


AUSTIN, TX — Texas trade associations, chambers of commerce, local governments and business leaders are encouraging state legislators to adopt legislation that would constitutionally dedicate revenue necessary to fund Texas highways and bridges.

An additional $5 billion is needed each year to keep existing traffic congestion and to maintain the state’s roadways, according to Texas A&M’s Texas Transportation Institute. That current funding gap is the result of stagnant revenue sources that have not increased in 24 years. Inflation, rising road construction costs and vehicles’ increasing fuel efficiency have reduced the spending power of that revenue.

“The Texas Association of Business strongly supports the constitutional dedication of funds for transportation,” said TAB CEO Bill Hammond. “We can no longer borrow to pay for new transportation projects. We must have a steady and reliable source of money to build new projects and repair our roads. Dedicating money will give us that steady and reliable source.”

Texans are clamoring for better and safer roads because they are tired of traffic congestion. They sent a loud and strong message in last fall’s election when voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 1 with 80 percent support. The proposal to dedicate a portion (37.5 percent) of the state’s oil and gas production tax revenue for the state’s highway fund is expected to generate approximately $1.2 billion a year for Texas road and bridge construction and maintenance. While Prop 1 funding will help steer Texas in the right direction, it still leaves the state at least $4 billion a year short of funding necessary.

“Texas Realtors have a front row seat to the state’s population growth,” said Scott Kesner, Chairman of the Texas Association of REALTORS. “It’s clear that traffic congestion and commute times are directly impacting the state’s commercial and residential settlement patterns.”

Gov. Greg Abbott is making transportation a top priority by calling for more than $4 billion a year to build more roads in Texas without raising taxes, fees, tolls or debt. The Senate’s recently passed SJR 5 and the House’s proposed HJR 13 constitutionally dedicate a portion of existing tax revenue to roads while continuing to contribute money to the state’s general fund for other needs.

Texas continues to lead the nation in creating jobs, but the state’s economic prosperity will become threatened with a highways system that cannot efficiently move people and goods. Building and maintaining roads are fundamental responsibilities and a core function of government. Texans expect to have safe, reliable highways and the state needs predictable, long-terms sources of revenue to accomplish this, according to various groups embracing a dedicated revenue source for the State Highway Fund.

“Corpus Christi is a growing city that supports passage of a dedicated long-term, sustainable funding source for transportation,” said Mayor Nelda Martinez of Corpus Christi. “Texas can no longer ignore its transportation infrastructure and the demands that a growing population puts on a system to move goods and people safely.”

The following groups and individuals support a constitutionally dedicated funding source for Texas highways:

Texas Association of Business
Texas Association of Builders
Texas Association of Manufacturers
Texas Food and Fuel Association
Texas Association of REALTORS
Texas Retailers Association
Texas Trucking Association
Texas Travel Industry Association
Southwest Movers Association
AGC of Texas Highway, Heavy and Utilities
American Council of Engineering Companies of Texas
Texas Business Leadership Council
Texas Real Estate Councils of Texas
Texas Grain Sorghum Producers
Texas Association of Dairymen
Texas Conference of Urban Counties
Texas Municipal League
Transportation Advocates of Texas
Move Texas Forward
Texas Infrastructure Now
Texas Good Roads Association
Texas Transportation Alliance
Ports-to-Plains Alliance
Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition
Tarrant Regional Transportation Coalition
San Antonio Mobility Coalition
Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership
Transportation Advocacy Group – Houston
Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance
Austin Chamber of Commerce
Bay City Chamber of Commerce
Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce
Dallas Regional Chamber
Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
Frisco Chamber of Commerce
Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce
Greater Houston Partnership
Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce
Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce
Longview Chamber of Commerce
Lubbock Chamber of Commerce
McAllen Chamber of Commerce
North San Antonio Chamber
San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
Houstonians for Responsible Growth
Real Estate Council of Austin
Houston Real Estate Council
Port of Beaumont
City of Corpus Christi
City of Nacogdoches
City of San Antonio