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Governor Announces Bond Plan To Solve Transportation Problems

Eileen Pace

During the Texas Lyceum Conference on Transportation Friday, Gov. Rick Perry announced his plan to fix funding issues with transportation costs. 

"On every car or truck sold in the state of Texas, we take in sales tax. The amount we take in on those sales is increasing steadily. I propose we dedicate the future growth in sales tax collected on motor vehicles to transportation infrastructure," Perry said.

The governor said Texas should take advantage of the state’s relatively low debt to fix roads, like those in the Eagle Ford Shale and Burnet Shale areas of the state.

Perry is advocating for using the state’s Rainy Day Fund to invest in long-term bonds and aims to bring in $41 billion over the next 20 years.

"It makes sense, particularly if you can build infrastructure - either water or transportation in particular - and lock in very low, probably historically low, interest rates. You know you are going to have to build it, lock it in now," Perry said.

Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, is not on board with the governor’s plan to tap into the state’s Automotive Sale Tax profits.

Perry said it will be up the voters to decide which transportation plan is a better fit:

  • Williams' plan that takes $3.5 billion from the Rainy Day Fund on a one-time basis
  • Perry's plan that uses current tax profits feeding the state's general revenue and uses an unspecified amount taken from the Rainy Day Fund to go towards the creation of low-interest long term debt

Both proposals will be listed on the ballot this Fall.