Voters approve use of oil & gas taxes for state highways

Marilyn Tennissen Nov. 5, 2014, 7:28pm

AUSTIN- Texas voters sent a message that road improvements are important for economic development, safety and quality of life, the state's transportation agency said.

According to election results from the Texas Secretary of State, voters supported Proposition 1, which will allow a portion of oil and gas tax revenues to be allotted to the State Highway Fund. 

Statewide, Prop 1 received 3,192,488 votes, or 79.78 percent, in favor. Twenty percent of voters voted against the proposition, casting 808,824 votes.

Additional roadway funding will be used to address congestion, maintain the state’s system in a safe manner and repair roads affected by activity in the energy sector, according to a press release from the Texas Department of Transportation.

“This is a good first step toward finding sustainable funding to meet Texas’ transportation needs. The overwhelming support for this measure is a strong statement from the citizens of Texas that transportation is an essential priority,” said TxDOT Executive Director Joe Weber.

The Legislature will determine the amount of funding that will be deposited into the State Highway Fund appropriating those funds to TxDOT.

According to the law, none of the funds from oil and gas severance tax revenues that are deposited to the State Highway Fund can or will be used on toll roads.

“We look forward to working with the Legislature to finalize the process and get the necessary resources out to the areas of the state most in need.”

He said TxDOT will continue to work with local leaders and planning organizations to identify possible projects to advance using these funds. Many of these projects will be ready to proceed to construction within four to six months after the appropriation is received, according to the press release.

The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state.

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