ATR has repeatedly expressed opposition to HB 9 and SB 855, transportation tax legislation pending in the TX legislature.

This legislation, which would permit a 125% gas tax increase on Lone Star State motorists, passed the TX House Transportation Committee late Monday evening. Despite the fact that we are in the midst of a recession, too many TX lawmakers think it is prudent to make it more expensive to commute to work, get the kids from school, or go to the grocery store. What’s worse energy prices are already set to skyrocket if Obama has is way on cap and trade. Proponents of HB 9/SB 855 feel the need to pile on.

Furthermore, this legislation is unnecessary. Justin Keener, Vice President for Policy and Communications for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, notes that the "legislature and several local leaders cannot look taxpayers in the eye and say they took even commonsense steps to avoid a tax increase. As these tax bills are heading for passage, lawmakers are putting the finishing touches on a budget that will continue to divert billions of dollars in transportation taxes to non-transportation purposes." Keener goes on to add that "many cities in the regions seeking increased taxes have chosen not to use their sales-tax authority for transportation projects. Whatever happened to setting priorities with our existing tax dollars before going to the taxpayers and seeking more?”

ATR will continue to reach out to Pledge signers in the House, other responsible lawmakers, and Gov. Rick Perry to defeat this misguided piece of legislation.