84(R) - 2015
Senate Transportation
Senate Transportation
Transportation & Infrastructure

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Robert Nichols


Jane Nelson

Bill Caption

Proposing a constitutional amendment dedicating certain revenue derived from the tax imposed on the sale of motor vehicles to the state highway fund.

Fiscal Notes

The resolution would constitutionally dedicate a portion of motor vehicle sales tax revenue; therefore appropriations from this revenue would not be restricted by the Article VIII, Section 22 spending limit.  The bill would have a negative effect on the state's cash flow and may require additional Tax Revenue Anticipation Notes to be issued to meet the state's annual cash flow needs.

Bill Analysis

SJR 5 would amend the Texas Constitution to allocate certain taxes and fees related to the sale of vehicles to the state highway fund. The bill states that allocation will not take place until the first $2.5 billion dollars is taken in by a motor vehicle sale by a private seller (152.047), car dealership metal plates (152.121), and the retail sales tax on new and used cars from a dealership. (152.021). Only after the comptroller makes a deposit of 1/4 of revenue to the foundation school fund and remaining revenue to the credit of the general fund as highlighted in Sec. 152.122 would revenues be deposited in the state highway fund. After the $2.5 billion is accrued, the remaining monies would be split evenly between the state highway fund and general revenue. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

This resolution does not add any additional taxes, and it specifically dedicates revenue to the state highway fund, rather than being designated as general revenue. This legislation would help to bridge a potentially significant financing gap in funding for Texas highways. While it makes sense to dedicate state transportation-related tax revenue to transportation infrastructure funding, this bill would also grow government by removing transportation funding from General Revenue and putting it into a dedicated fund, effectively raising the spending cap. One way to address this would be to amend the legislation to require that the money that gets diverted from general revenue to the state highway fund count against the current spending cap.

We support using transportation revenues to fund transportation infrastructure, however, our support of that aspect of the bill is mitigated by our concern about growing government by raising the spending cap. Therefore we are neutral on this legislation.