Texas highways get landslide support
Texas voters overwhelming approved a transportation funding amendment to the state constitution Tuesday, reflecting widespread support for highway funding.
“By supporting this constitutional amendment, voters have made an investment in our state’s economic future. Proposition 7 ensures the state’s highway system will be able to keep up with the state’s increasing population and booming economy. I would like to thank my colleagues in the Senate and House, Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, all of the organizations and associations who worked on this proposal and the voters for supporting this step towards a reliable and stable transportation funding,” said Senator Robert Nichols, author of the constitutional amendment.
Proposition 7 will invest $2.5 billion per year to build non-tolled roads and bridges in Texas. By 2025, that amount is expected to grow to $3.5 billion per year. The measure will constitutionally dedicate a portion of the existing state sales taxes – including taxes paid on new vehicles – to transportation, meaning no new taxes would be created. With its passing, Proposition 7 became the largest single increase in transportation funding in Texas history, without issuing debt.
Use of these dedicated funds in the State Highway Fund would be limited to non-tolled roads and bridges. The Texas Department of Transportation will be provided a predictable revenue stream with which they can use to implement long-range transportation plans.
Nichols, a former Texas transportation commissioner, currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. He has worked on Texas transportation issues in various capacities since 1997.