Move Texas Forward and Coalition Partners Support for SB5 and SJR5

Move Texas Forward is expressing support for SB5 and SJR5 filed by State Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville). The proposal to constitutionally dedicate a portion of motor vehicle sales tax collections to road projects was announced in a joint press conference with Lt. Governor Dan Patrick earlier today.

“Investment in the Texas transportation system is vital to sustaining our quality of life and continuing the state’s strong economic position,” said Scott Haywood, President of Move Texas Forward. “This proposed legislation is a much needed step towards reducing congestion and improving safety on the state’s highway system. We applaud Lt. Governor Patrick and Sen. Nichols for their leadership on this important issue by proposing a long-term, reliable funding source for transportation.”

“The plan to constitutionally dedicate a portion of the motor vehicle sales tax revenue to transportation projects is exactly what the business community has called for, and we will strongly support this proposed constitutional amendment,” said Bill Hammond, CEO, Texas Association of Business. “Texas must continue to build and improve infrastructure to support our fast growth and dynamic economy. I believe this plan will go a long way in providing a stable source of revenue to built non-tolled projects that will help keep out state moving.”

“The Texas Oil & Gas Association applauds Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Senator Robert Nichols for their leadership in addressing pressing transportation needs with a long-term, sustainable funding proposal that does not raise taxes,” said Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association. “To keep up with unprecedented growth, our state needs expanded infrastructure across the board including transportation, water and pipeline infrastructure. Senator Nichols’ legislation (SB5 and SJR5) to direct a portion of the state’s vehicle sales taxes to the state highway fund is a step in the right direction. Last year, Texas voters overwhelmingly passed Prop 1 to use existing oil and natural gas tax revenue to address some of our state’s transportation needs. The oil and gas industry is proud to be contributing so significantly to the state’s critical infrastructure needs. We’re hopeful the Legislature passes legislation introduced today to give Texans another opportunity to use existing tax revenue to establish a sustainable, long-term funding solution to address our ever-growing transportation infrastructure needs. “

“We appreciate the leadership of Lieutenant Governor Patrick and Senator Nichols and their continued commitment to addressing our transportation and state infrastructure needs,” said Ed Longanecker, president of the Texas Independent Producer & Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO). “Providing adequate funding for road repair, maintenance and infrastructure investment remains a priority for our organization and the Texas oil and gas industry. This issue is of particular importance in areas of the state that have experienced a significant increase in exploration and production activity in recent years. TIPRO remains focused on supporting legislative measures that effectively address these needs to ensure the safety of Texas citizens, as well as to support continued commerce and economic growth for our state and industry.”

“The Texas Retailers Association strongly supports Senate Bill 5 and applauds Senator Robert Nichols and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick for their leadership on this important issue,” said Ronnie Volkening, President and CEO of the Texas Retailers Association. “The constitutional dedication of these dollars to the state highway fund shows a tremendous commitment to the Texas transportation system and to the future of this great state. The retail industry and Texas families depend on safe, efficient, and affordable roads and the actions taken today will ensure their success for many generations to come.”

“Transportation infrastructure is essential to Texas’ ongoing prosperity,” said Tony Bennett, president of the Texas Association of Manufacturers. “When Texas voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 1 in November 2014 it was a critical first step to help Texas maintain the nation’s #1 rank for job creation and exporting. However, Prop 1 doesn’t address all of our transportation needs in Texas. Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and Senator Robert Nichols are wise to propose a sustainable funding solution to our highway infrastructure needs that doesn’t increase taxes and dedicates existing tax revenue toward transportation projects. The Texas Association of Manufacturers has long asserted that the cost of doing nothing with regard to transportation infrastructure is enormous. As our state grows at a breathtaking pace, our transportation infrastructure continues to become bogged down and our entire economic engine is at risk. Wouldn’tTexas needs smart policy like Senate Bill 5 and Senate Joint Resolution 5 to maintain our hard-earned reputation as a top competitor in the global economy.”

The proposal would permanently reserve $2.5 billion of the vehicle sales tax each year for the state’s General Fund. All revenues above that amount would be constitutionally dedicated to the State Highway Fund starting in 2018. The new funds could only be used for the acquisition of right of way, construction and maintenance of non-tolled roads and bridges, and to pay off general revenue transportation related debt.

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