Committee’s interim report explored indexing fuel taxes to inflation rate -

January 15, 2021 - -

Lawmakers are just beginning the 87th session of the Texas Legislature and they have to craft a budget, all while dealing with declining revenues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Texas Department of Transportation has already seen a $1.9 billion drop in revenue during this budget period, and that has some lawmakers looking for more ways to fund the state’s transportation needs.

“I’m not a fan of raising taxes in any form or fashion, but someone’s got to pay for the roads we drive on,” said Representative Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation. “And so the fact is the oil and gas industry and those revenues can’t shoulder the ever growing need for infrastructure.”

“Finding the solutions to that could involve carpooling, could involve mass transit, could involve better design, infrastructure, design,” he said. “But at the end of the day, all of those require money.”

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Editors note: House Transportation Chair Canales will be a featured speaker during the 17th Annual Southwestern Rail Conference (virtual) on January 28th.