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Government/Politics

State House Oks Tapping $3B-Plus Per Year From Car Sales For Roads

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AUSTIN — The Texas House has voted overwhelmingly to funnel more than $3 billion in annual tax revenue from car sales to building and maintaining traffic-clogged roads statewide.

Thursday’s 138-3 vote gave preliminary approval to a proposed constitutional amendment. If passed by voters next November, it would take effect in 2017.

It is similar to a proposed constitutional amendment passed in March by the Senate, which would ask voters to divert $2.5 billion in annual vehicle sales tax revenue to road funding beginning in 2018.

Gov. Greg Abbott has made bolstering transportation infrastructure a priority since the state's aging road network has been overtaxed by Texas’ booming population.

Both chambers will now have to reconcile their plans' differences. But both nonetheless allow the GOP-controlled Legislature to bolster road funding without raising taxes.