State Rep. Joe Pickett Talks: Texas Transportation Needs Proposition 1 & TxDOT

If youre somebody who is conservative who cares about the debt this is a big point or plus ... to make sure Prop 1 was as good as it could be.  TexasInsiderAUSTIN Texas (Texas Insider Report)  The dynamics that got us into this transportation funding situation are two-fold - one is very positive and the second is not really a negative but more of a reality check by the general public State. Rep. Joe Pickett tells Texas Insiders Jim Cardle. The positive is that everybody wants to be in Texas. This is where businesses want to be this is where people are moving their families ... and they usually bring a car or two cars so now we have in fact almost as many registered vehicles in Texas as we do total population. The perception for the public is when they see the gas prices go up ... when gas goes from $3.29 a gallon to $3.89 a gallon youd  assume that we the state government is collecting more tax based on that increase in price but we dont. Were not collecting any more in taxes when prices increase none TexasInsiderwhatsoever said Pickett. So theres a real education process to all this to make sure the public knows that that .20 cents per gallon gas tax ... and its been .20 cents per gallon for 23 years now since 1991 ... with all our tremendous economic growth and the need for roads that results from that growth is just not sufficient to meet their needs anymore.

Dont miss former House Transportation Committee chairman Joe Picketts outlook for the future of Texas roads traffic congestion solutions and Prop 1 on Novembers Ballot.       

Second the revenues that come into the states coffers that we dedicate to Texas transportation & infrastructure have not increased in decades and decades. Most people dont realize that when they go to the gas station the tax theyre paying is not based upon a percentage of the sale its a flat .20 cents per gallon and it has been .20 cents per gallon for 23 years since 1991 Pickett said. The facts also show that people are driving less and the vehicles theyre driving theres no question are getting better gas mileage which means the average Texan is paying less today in gas taxes than they were 20 years ago. Theres less gas tax revenue coming in to keep up with our states transportation needs. Proposition 1 is asking the public before before we make a deposit into your savings account (the Rainy Day Fund) because the money that is coming in now is so much higher than it ever has been in the last 20 years from the oil & gas activity that were blessed with today let us split it . That is a wise use of their money says Pickett. So not only will the Rainy Day Fund be constitutionally protected but in Prop 1 the legislature is going to have to ratify every Session what is a minimum necessary for transportation and how much should go into the Rainy Day Fund. road-txdot-transportation-trafficIf or when somebody says Well they should have enough money there already what are they (state agencies or the Texas Department of Transportation) doing to cut costs or become more efficient? We said thats right. The Department of Transportation is required in this legislation to find at least $100 million in savings ... not funny money not just on paper. They have to come up with real saving which will be applied to transportation debt. If youre somebody who is conservative who cares about the debt that is a big point or plus. That was something we did to make sure the proposal was right and to make sure Prop 1 was as good as it could be Pickett said.
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