Public Policy | Proposition 1

Proposition 1

Proposition 1 for Transportation Funding

Prop1_logo_web Texans will vote on a proposed constitutional amendment on November 4, 2014 that would provide billions more in reliable transportation funding – an estimated $1.7 billion in the first year – without new taxes, fees or debt.
 
The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors recently voted in favor of Proposition 1 and encourages support of this important measure on November 4. Below are frequently asked questions about Proposition 1:
 


The November 2014 statewide ballot proposition is a constitutional amendment authorized by SJR 1, which legislators approved last year. The amendment would authorize annual disbursements from the state’s oil and gas production tax collections to the State Highway Fund. An estimated $1.7 billion would be transferred in to the State Highway Fund in the first year alone. The amendment would provide a significant step toward meeting the unmet funding needs for transportation projects in Texas. The ballot language for the proposition reads:   The constitutional amendment providing for the use and dedication of certain money transferred to the state highway fund to assist in the completion of transportation construction, maintenance, and rehabilitation projects, not to include toll roads.

If approved by voters, the measure authorizes additional Texas transportation funding – without new taxes, tolls or fees – to be used for new construction and preservation of the state highway system. These funds cannot be used for toll roads. HB 1, a related bill that was also approved by the Texas Legislature in 2013, put these requirements in place.

The additional transportation money would come from directing a portion of the state’s annual oil and gas production tax collections to the State Highway Fund. According to estimates from the Texas Comptroller, if voters approved the Constitutional Amendment $1.7 billion would be transferred in to the State Highway Fund in the first year alone. As oil and gas production in the state grows, the amount of funding provided by this proposition would also increase.

Related legislation also passed in 2013 requires TxDOT to identify $100 million in savings, which it must use to reduce its long-term debt. These savings could come from operational efficiencies, cost reductions, or cost savings, but could not reduce the amount of funding available for transportation projects.   The legislation also calls for the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House and to appoint five Senate members and five House members to a select committee to determine a “sufficient balance” of the ESF for a state fiscal biennium. In determining such a balance, the committee will consider the history of Fund balances; the history of transfers to the Fund; estimated Fund balances during that fiscal biennium; estimated transfers to the Fund to occur during that fiscal biennium; information available to the committee regarding state highway congestion and funding demands; and any other information requested by the committee regarding the state’s financial condition.

The constitutional amendment would provide significant progress in addressing the state’s unmet transportation needs by providing $1.7 billion in the first year alone. As oil and gas production in Texas continues to grow, the amount of funding dedicated to transportation will also increase. However, this amendment alone does not “solve” Texas’ transportation funding challenge. Experts say Texas has at least $5 billion in unmet transportation needs each year. Even with the passage of this ballot proposition, the state still faces a significant funding gap for transportation infrastructure.

 
For more information about the “Cost of Doing Nothing“, visit MoveTexasForward.com.
 
 

Important Election Dates

Oct. 20, 2014: Early voting begins
Oct. 31, 2014: Early voting ends
Oct. 24, 2014: Last day to apply for ballot by mail
Nov. 4, 2014: Election Day!
 
For more information on voting in McLennan County, please go to co.mclennan.tx.us/elections.

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