This report covers the responses the House Committee on Transportation received for their RFI on Charge 1B regarding implementation of SB 282 and 962. The RFI can be found here, and a link to all responses can be found here.


The HillCo report below is a summary of information intended to give you an overview and highlight of the various topics included in the responses. This report does not cover the entirety of each response but aims to provide an overview of the testimony submitted.


Texas Department of Transportation

  • TxDot derives liquidated damage from TxDot’s cost to oversee the project; includes rate in each project
  • May also assess road user costs on certain projects if the contractor is not meeting the project schedule milestones
  • Fiscal Year 2019 road user costs are $30.12 per passenger car hour and $41.33 per commercial truck hour; numbers based on CPI
  • 282 requires TxDOT to confirm that it is crediting any cost savings from the assessment of liquidated damages and/or road user costs appropriately to the corresponding TxDOT district
  • After an analysis to compare final cost to original Low Bid amounts, and confirming with the TxDOT districts method of pay, cumulative totals will be applied to the Letting Allocations in the Category Analyses for each district
  • SB 962:
  • Proposition 1 authorized money from oil and gas tax to be used for ESF and SHF; 962 continues this initiative until 2034
  • SB 962 will provide TxDot greater financial security which is required for long term planning of non-tolled roadway projects
  • Senate Bill 69 extends the expiration date of Proposition 1 fund transfers to the State Highway Fund just as 962 amends the expiration; also creates new procedure for transferring to ESF/SHF
  • SB 69 requires the comptroller to adopt a threshold balance for the ESF equal to 7 % of certified GR appropriations
  • If the amount in the ESF is less than the amount described above, the comptroller must reduce the allocation to the SHF and increase the allocation to the ESF
  • Amendments regarding to threshold amount will take hold beginning September 1, 2021
  • Transportation Funding
  • Short term budget challenges normally relate to the biennial time frame; state benefits from a predictable stream of revenue to ensure smooth development
  • Budgetary adjustments will be more pronounced this year
  • By the numbers below:
  • 76% of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2020-21 budget to the direct development and delivery of roadway projects
  • 11% on contracted and routine maintenance and ferry operations
  • 8% for specific purposes (debt service and regional toll subaccounts)
  • 2 % on other modes of transportation
  • 2 % on administrative costs
  • Do not foresee an impediment to continuing existing projects this year; new projects coul be pushed to other years
  • Flexibility to TxDot granted in the 86th legislature will allow them to adjust more easily


Texas Department of Motor Vehicles

  • Programs administered by TxDMV provide billions in revenue to the SHF each biennium; deposited $1.58 billion this fiscal year
  • Vehicles have an annual registration fee related to their weight
  • The $1 fee is also deposited to the SHF except the potion for the TexasSure Fund to cover costs of the Texas Department of Insurance’s financial responsibility verification system
  • Title fees provided $7.9 million to the State Highway Fund and $115.2 million to the Texas Mobility Fund in FY 2019
  • Out of either title fee, $5 remains with the county, $5 is deposited to the General Revenue Fund, and $3 is deposited in the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles Fun
  • At intervals, funds from title fees to Texas are transferred to Texas Emissions Reduction Plan Fund
  • In addition to the title fee described above, a “rebuilt” title must pay a $65 rebuilder fee: $50 to SHF and $15 to the GR Fund
  • Department also offers oversize/ overweight permitting; provided $112.8 million
  • GR receives a portion of most permitting fees; counties receive a portion of the fees for the following:
  • Over axle/over gross weight tolerance
  • Annual timber, ready-mixed concrete trucks
  • Intermodal shipping container port
  • North Texas intermodal
  • Milk transport permits
  • Cities receive a portion of the fee for intermodal shipping container port permit


Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

  • Timing of Proposition 7 sales tax allocations of SHF cause fluctuations in actual and projected total state revenue for SHF
  • As per original law, the first $2.5 billion in annual sales tax revenue in excess of $28 billion is allocated to the SHF
  • In fiscal 2018, state sales tax revenue through July exceeded that threshold by nearly $940 million and that amount was allocated to the SHF in August
  • Remaining $1.56 billion was collected in August that year and transferred to the SHF in September, the first month of fiscal 2019
  • Total sales tax allocations to the SHF in fiscal 2019 exceeded $4 billion
  • Fiscal 2020 transfers totaled $2.5 billion
  • July 2020 CRE projects that collections in fiscal 2021 cause just $1.15 billion to be transferred in August, with the remaining $1.35 allocated in September, the first month of fiscal 2022
  • Another source of volatility is allocation of Proposition 1 Taxes
  • Money from SHF from severance will be down 30 % from the previous biennium
  • Based on the July CRE’s forecast of fiscal 2021 oil and natural gas production tax collections, the SHF allocation for fiscal 2022 is expected to fall further, to just $620 million


Legislative Budget Board

Proposition 1

  • Transfers to the ESF and SHF are equal to 75% of the amount by which oil and natural gas production tax collections exceed the FY 1987 collection levels
  • To date, legislature has not taken initiative to increase transfer of ESF to more than ½ of the allocation
  • Money transferred to the SHF may only be used for construction, maintenance, and acquisition of rights-of-way for non-tolled public roadways.
  • $7.1 billion total Proposition 1 transfers to the SHF from FY 2015 to FY 202

Proposition 7

  • Beginning in FY 2020, 35 percent of the revenues collected from the state motor vehicle sales and rental taxes that exceed $5.0 billion in each fiscal year through FY 2029 (shift from Prop. 7)
  • Revenue allocated to the SHF may be appropriated only for the following:
  • To construct, maintain, or acquire rights-of-way for non-tolled public roadways or repay principal and interest on Highway Improvement General Obligation bonds issued under Texas Constitution, Article 3, Sec. 49-p
  • The Legislature is authorized to do the following by adoption of a resolution:
  • Reduce the SHF allocation from either revenue source by a percentage not to exceed 50% of what would have been allocated to the SHF from that source in the affected fiscal year
  • Extend the SHF allocations in 10-year increments
  • $7.5 billion from Proposition 7 sales tax allocations have been deposited to the SHF from FY 2018 to FY 2020
  • To date, legislature has not adopted a resolution to reduce allocation to SHF

Texas Mobility Fund

  • TTC administers this fund
  • TMF can be used to finance projects and paying parts of cost of construction and providing publicly owned toll roads and other publicly owned projects
  • HB 122 amended the Transportation Code to prohibit the issuance of new TMF bond obligations
  • Money in the TMF in excess of the amounts required to be retained under bond obligations and credit agreements may be used for any purpose for which bonds may be issued other than toll road
  • Document provides diagrams of how funding is allocated


Brianne Glover, Texas A&M Transportation Institute

  • Population growth increases need for this sort of infrastructure
  • Largest portion of funding stems from FHWA reimbursements
  • Remaining sources include motor fuel tax revenue, Proposition 7 funds authorized by voters in 2015, Proposition 1 funds authorized by voters in 2014, vehicle registration fees, and other funds
  • Following factors have increased need for transportation
  • A state population growth that has outpaced predictions
  • New legislation regarding transportation funding
  • Significant growth in the oil and gas industry
  • More rapid growth in international trade than originally forecast
  • Changing workplace practices
  • Evolving supply chains impacting freight movement
  • Improving fleet fuel efficiency; impacted the amount of revenue accrued on this commodity
  • Increasing cost of construction impacting the sufficiency of the revenue stream; inflation in this practice occurs at a rate higher than other industries; flat fuel tax doesn’t account
  • Motor fuel tax has primarily funded transportation
  • Propositions 1 and 7 fortunately provided new revenue streams
  • The TTI Transportation Revenue Estimator and Needs Determination System (TRENDS) discusses future funding options


Anne O’Ryan, AAA

  • Texas challenges are described as following
  • Demand exceeds revenue; TTP 2040 estimates Texas will need twice as much revenue as SHF can generate; also, must account for population growth and tractor to trailer traffic
  • Stagnant funding: next year HTF won’t have sufficient funds to meet its obligations
  • Reccommended fundamental principles as following:
  • Protect dedicated funds against diversion. This includes the motor fuels tax, as well as the recent constitutional amendments, Propositions 1 and 7, which were overwhelming approved (more than 80 percent) by Texas voters.
  • Maintain sustained and reliable funding.
  • Research related road user fees to enhance the dedicated highway fund.
  • Assure all road users pay their fair share for pavement damage and capacity demands


American Council of Engineering Companies, Texas

  • 2030 committee decided that to maintain current transportation system for the next 25 years, they will need $275 billion; amount to maintain current condition is $5 billion per year
  • Proposition 1 and 7 resulted from the above data; still did not fully address the shortfall
  • Resources for SHF have declined by $1.9 billion
  • TxDot shows $7.5 billion available as compared to $13.1 billion needed
  • Recommends the following:
  • Protect Proposition 1 and 7 funding
  • Consider additional SHF revenue sources such as increasing the state motor fuels tax, indexing the tax to inflation, and utilizing toll road and managed lane financing; ensuring hybrid/ electric vehicles pay too
  • Promote use of toll roads and managed road strategies; would allow for funding to be spread


Robert Adamson, Associated General Contractors of Texas

  • Propsition1, Proposition 7, and not diverting resources to other areas have helped infrastructure and created jobs
  • TTC adopted the 2020 Unified Transportation Program which allocate $70 billion for safety, maintenance, and congestion
  • TxDot still falls short of the $5 billion dollar funding goal
  • Texas Mobility Fund remains and option for funding in this regard
  • Motor fuel tax and vehicle registration fee can both be adjusted
  • TxDot uses the traditional bid build model; design build has also been implemented for particular projects


Harrison Humphreys, Air Alliance Houston

  • Majority of air pollution in Harris County is from mobile resources; CO2 emissions have gone up 52% since 1992
  • Points out relationship between level of sprawl and ozone exceedance
  • Air toxics and ozone issues can cause pulmonary and lung diseases in citizens
  • Need to reduce transportation related GHG issues
  • Mass transit is an initial solution
  • Almost all of Texas’ state transportation funding is constitutionally dedicated to on-system freeway projects; very little of it can be used for multimodal projects
  • TxDoT mixes most of the discretionary federal funding it receives with the state money, rendering it unusable for multimodal projects
  • Ask state to remove statutory restrictions on using state funding for alternative modes of transportation


Michael Bowman, American Legislative Exchange Council

  • Want to implement P3s to allow Texas to increase infrastructure without a comparable increase in taxes


Bay Area Houston Transportation Partnership

  • Advocates for increased mobility investment in their region
  • Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax: increasing tax to construction cost index
  • Vehicle Registration Fees: provide authorization for local governments to enact increases
  • Electric Vehicle Equity Fee
  • Relax the Sales Tax Cap: allow authorization of up to 1% to fund transportation


Randal O’Toole, CATO Institute

  • Recommends user fees as a way of paying for highways
  • Politicians more likely to spend taxes on construction
  • User fee model shows that if infrastructure is not maintained revenues will be decreased
  • Gasoline taxes as a user fee are weak because they don’t keep up with inflation
  • Recommends using mileage-based user fees and not diverting the funding
  • Members are refunded their gasoline taxes based on the rated fuel-economy of their car because they are paying per mile on their car
  • Program that contends above initiative also imposed stiff registration fee on hybrid and electric cars to account for their lack of gas tax; can waive fees by joining mileage program


CATO Institute Additional Commentary

  • Public-private partnerships can provide key funding and investment without the need to raise taxes or increase debt
  • Texas could see over $15 billion in private investment by adopting a public-private partnership model
  • Two key forms of public-private partnership:
    • Demand risk partnership places the risk on the private entity, with control over the project eventually turning over to the public after a set period. The private partner earns revenue (if the project earns revenue) until they turn the ownership over to the public
    • Availability payments places risk with the public: projects are publicly funded but licensed out to a contractor to complete the work. Contractors receive a flat fee for their services
  • For the public, demand-risk is a better model due to the lack of risk placed on the state


Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority

  • CTRMA benefits from a system finance model that allows revenue to be shared among projects, allowing enterprise agencies like Regional Mobility Authorities to finance projects more effectively on a lower budget
  • Revenue and geographic diversity are created as a result of system financing, allowing for lower toll rates and fees, as well as off-putting an increase in local taxes
  • COVID-19 has significantly reduced the travel on toll roads and subsequently reduced the revenue of CTRMA and other RMAs. Legislature must ensure adequate funding for infrastructure projects is approved despite the financial challenges created as a result of the COVID pandemic


Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition

  • Texas Transportation Commission awards hundreds of millions for highway improvement projects monthly, for projects that provide thousands of jobs and provide for economic growth and vitality in the future
  • Discussions of budgeting in the 87th legislature must not ignore the critical role of maintaining and expanding road infrastructure
  • Improving current roads and constructing new ones will be critical to the economic recovery of the state from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as addressing the vast population growth that Texas is experiencing
  • Revenues funding road projects have declined as a result of COVID, as well as due to legislature diversion of funds for infrastructure projects. However, Prop. 1 and 7 funding has somewhat made up the difference, but many projects will continue to be unfunded


El Paso Chamber & El Paso Mobility Commission

  • El Paso’s status as a large metropolitan area as well as a port city means the city requires significant investment in infrastructure to serve the local population as well as the millions of 18-wheelers, cars, and other vehicles that use the roads daily
  • Recent passage of the USMCA to replace the NAFTA will likely lead to an increase in cross-border traffic, and so the El Paso Chamber and Mobility Commission support continued and increased investment in the road infrastructure in the area
  • This includes examining ways to reduce bridge wait times, which will increase our economic gain from cross-border trade and economic outcomes for the future


El Paso Metropolitan Planning Organization

  • There are more road projects needed than money available to finance them, so the Texas Legislature ought to consider and encourage alternative financing methods, giving local communities the choice of funding/financing outcome best suited for their situation
  • Texas has many “tools in the toolbox” that it can leverage, including: Transportation Reinvestment Zones, additional/optional County Vehicle Registration fees, tolls, Prop. 12 and 14 bond programs, the Texas Mobility Fund, pass through financing, Public-private partnerships, and Regional Mobility Authorities, to name some
  • Uncertain funding outcomes as a result of the COVID pandemic mean that ensuring communities have freedom of choice from proven financing methods is a priority for the legislature to pursue


Jay Blazek Crossley, Farm & City

  • Graph displaying, for the years 2000 and 2017, the amount in 2017 dollars the user and non-user fees for Texas Road spending, per capita


Greater Houston Partnership

  • The state can adequately transportation infrastructure and keep pace with the population growth of the state
  • Maintaining Prop. 1 and 7 as sources of transportation funding will be important to maintain this level of funding and preparedness for population increases and economic development


I-69 Alliance

  • I-69 in Texas covers more than 1,100 miles and more than 30% of the Texas population lives in the corridor
  • Despite Prop. 1 and 7, there is still a significant funding gap for highway funding
  • Completing the I-69 system will require billions, and freight and car traffic is expected to increase significantly in that same time period
  • Prop 1 and 7 funding should be dedicated to Transportation to the greatest extent possible under the law to minimize the funding gaps and ensure Texas road infrastructure remains strong
  • Recommends adoption of innovative financing tools including tolling where supported



  • TxDOT uses several debt financing tools to advance large projects, and the passage of Props 1 and 7 have created new, non-traditional funding sources for the state
  • A performance-based process has been implemented for the use of non-traditional funds, which has led to scenario-based planning being implemented instead of traditional project planning methodology
  • Projects may now be added to the Unified Transportation Program (UTP) based on potential funding rather than strictly available funding, leading to the 2021 UTP containing over $74 billion in planned projects
  • Demand and maintenance costs for Texas roads continue to increase, leading to the subsequent expansion of contractor financing as a method addressing transportation needs
  • Recommends the expansion of the pass-through toll financing program as an additional financing tool
  • Examines Kiewit’s financing model for the Midtown Express expansion as a model of how TxDOT can securely finance projects without having the full budget in hand
  • Recommends the use of the CMGC model, also known as the Construction Manager/General Contractor, Construction Manager at Risk, or Early Contractor Involvement model
  • CMGC is a construction-focused delivery method that integrates the owner, engineer, and contractor into one team early on to develop the most cost-effective and efficient schedule for the project
  • Examines the US 34 Permanent Repairs project as an example of how CMGC contracting can be effective and efficient
  • TxDOT currently uses Alternative Delivery Program limited by the Design-build model, while shifting to the CMGC model would provide much greater flexibility
  • New and alternative financing and delivery methods will accelerate the delivery of projects


Locke Lord LLP

  • The need for alternative funding and financing tools in Texas is a result of a lack of funding for needed transportation infrastructure in the state. Due to legislature resistance to increasing revenue streams through methods such as raising the gas tax, alternative funding and financing tools remain a compelling issue
  • TxDOT estimates (including revenue from toll roads and comprehensive development agreements (CDAs)) that they require an additional $4 billion annually to simply maintain the highway system in its current condition
  • While Props 1 and 7 did alleviate some funding gaps, they did not provide other tools to increase funding methods further, which prevents expansion of transportation infrastructure
  • Legislature’s precluding of CDAs and impediments to tolling may have exacerbated funding problems many thought solved
  • Budget shortfalls may produce a desire to use some Prop. 1 and 7 funds for needs other than transportation, which will further the gap
  • CDAs (Comprehensive Development Agreements) are public-private partnerships for roadway projects in Texas
  • For a maximum of 52 years, the state could contract with a private entity to design, construct, finance, operate, and maintain a project, placing all of the risk on the private entity
  • CDAs have been used for five road projects in Texas with an aggregate cost of $8.5 billion. One of these projects resulted in bankruptcy, but after restructuring under a new contractor, the project emerged from bankruptcy. The state was not forced to assume any of the financial obligations of the private entity, meaning that even in the worst-case scenario CDAs protect the public from adverse financial and operational consequences
  • Texas currently has retreated from the use of CDAs and TxDOT and Regional Mobility Authorities currently have no legislative authority to enter into CDAs
  • Recommends Legislature provide statutory authority to TxDOT and RMAs to enter into CDAs in order to fund major road projects and give the state more leeway with its funding
  • The Texas Mobility Fund (TMF) and Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) were created to finance the development and construction of roads in the public highway system, one of the most flexible sources of money for TxDOT. However, HB 122 (84th) significantly limited the ability of the TTC to issue debt based on the TMF to finance projects
  • Recommends legislature pass legislation to allow the TTC to issue debt based off the TMF again to finance projects
  • Amendment No. 12 to SB 312 (85th) further changed Prop. 15, requiring that grant recipients (such as MPOs) for toll projects repay that grant back to the state
  • Recommends removal of this repayment requirement so as to allow the financing and acceleration of needed road and toll projects
  • Expanding optional funding methods for local and regional authorities is important to expand funding opportunities for road projects
  • Expanding the Optional Vehicle Registration Fee (VRF) to more than the current 5 permitted counties will ensure that counties and local governments have the funding needed to fund necessary roadway projects
  • Recommends legislature expand the Optional VRF to more counties, subject to a county vote for increases in the fee over the initial fee, which may be up to $10
  • RMAs have supported Transportation Reinvestment Zones (TRZ) as a tool for generating project funding through the leveraging of economic growth and development brought about by a road project
  • A TRZ allows a local entity to designate an area around a transportation project and to capture the increase in ad valorem tax revenues resulting from the increase in property values for use in connection with the financing of the project
  • Due to a 2015 Attorney General opinion which placed uncertainty on the legality of County designations of TRZs, the tool is no longer as useful
  • Recommends legislation to provide clear constitutional authority for local and regional governments to authorize TRZs and tax increment financing


Transportation Policy Body for the North Central Texas Council of Governments

  • Due to the funding shortfalls, increasing population, and high usage of roads in the DFW area, additional funding sources for roadway projects are needed
  • Wants the legislature to ensure the “fair-share” allocation of transportation funding from TxDOT, and requests they modify the statue to clarify the discretionary authority of TxDOT
  • Recommends consideration of alternative funding sources for localities, including TRZs, Optional VRFs, indexing the fuel tax to vehicle efficiency, and a vehicle miles traveled pilot, among other options
  • Recommends investigation of conclusions reached by Dec 2020 study on the impact of fuel efficiency and alternative-fuel cars on the revenue earned from the gas tax
  • Supports the use of tolled managed lanes and public-private partnerships to expedite projects when traditional funding sources are unavailable


SH 130 Concession Company

  • TxDOT currently has a long-term CDA with the Company for the development and operation of SH 130 Segments 5 & 6 Facility. Believes TxDOT can earn more value from the CDA through modifying several parts of the CDA
  • Supports extending the term of the CDA to generate more concession payments for TxDOT and extend the length of the Company’s contract
  • Supports modifying the ancillary business clause to allow the Company to identify for TxDOT’s approval ancillary businesses that could be developed along the corridor. Current terms reserve that right exclusively to TxDOT
  • Supports reconsideration of maintenance standards to update them for current best practices, as the contract terms stem from 2007
  • Supports TxDOT investing in new technology and services development in the I-35 Corridor, including communications and infrastructure and travel plazas
  • Specifically supports fiber optic development and commercialization of excess bandwidth
  • Supports use of right-of-way and surplus property along the corrider for the development of truck travel plazas to help reduce congestion on I-35, the most heavily traveled truck route in the state. There is also a need for much more truck parking and amenities for long-haul truck drivers along the corridor
  • Recommends TxDOT create a new position dedicated to identifying and exploring specific business opportunities


Transportation Advocacy Group Houston Region

  • Because roads and highways are the backbone of the economy, we need to continue prioritizing funding for projects and maintenance to ensure they can continue to support economic growth
  • Supports exploring additional funding sources, including Alternative Fuel (AF) equity fees to supplement the gas tax, allowing major urban counties to implement up to a 1% sales tax dedicated to mobility/infrastructure needs, and an indexing and/or increase of the gas tax to support transportation funding
  • Supports keeping tolling in the toolbox and Vison Zero efforts


Tax Assessor-Collectors Association of Texas

  • TACA believes analyzing the loss of fees to other states is important before adjusting registration fees
  • Texas counties near the state of New Mexico experience lower registration revenue due to fees being less in New Mexico, resulting in individuals registering their vehicles in that state rather than Texas


Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom & Texans for Toll-free Highways

  • TxDOT and MPOs stack short and long-range plans with more than needed projects to justify tax increases and toll fees
  • Believes that TxDOT shifted the goalposts on funding needs
  • Despite Governor Abbot’s opposition, many toll projects have pushed ahead
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state revenues including gas tax and sales tax revenue used for transportation projects are down, meaning the state can really examine whether it needs all of the slated projects, and will also ensure contracts are competitive and lacking excess “fat”
  • CDAs are a product of “crony capitalist special interests” who want to control public infrastructure
  • CDAs result in increased congestion on free routes versus tolled ones, high toll rates during peak hours, public debt subsidization of projects that cannot sustain themselves
  • The toll becomes a tax, not a user fee, when public money is used to subsidize or guarantee the loans on projects when free alternatives cannot be expanded or improved


Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance

  • “Advanced Energy” includes a broad range of products and services including best available technologies for meeting energy needs
  • TAEBA is focused on reducing barriers to the adoption of these technologies and continuing growth in the state
  • Advanced vehicle industry in the state has resulted in over 17,000 jobs, 7% of all advanced energy jobs
  • Electric Vehicles (EVs) provide many economic and environmental benefits, and will likely see widespread adoption in the coming years, so it is important not to burden the industry with punitive fees
  • Fixed tax rates not indexed for inflation are not providing the revenue required to keep up with current maintenance or construct new transportation projects
  • Gas tax revenue has also declined due to the increase in fuel efficiency of vehicles over time and the increasing adoption of EVs and alternate fuel vehicles
  • To close this gap, unreasonably annual flat fees of up to $300 have been proposed for EV users
  • Studies have shown the gap is a result of a resistance to permanently index the gas tax rate to inflation. And because EVs are only 0.1% of the vehicles on the road, the $300 fee would not be a “silver bullet” to fix the budget shortfall
  • Supports EV drivers fairly contributing to the upkeep of roads, but notes that sales tax revenue, electricity tax revenue, and other funding streams are higher for EVs than traditional cars
  • At the early stage of the EV market, imposing a flat rate or penalty to purchase would undermine the market and further slow the adoption of the technology, as seen in Georgia
  • Supports calculating annual tax for EV based on eMPG and miles traveled multiplied by the state gas tax rate:
  • Believes that the formula, rather than a flat fee calculated based of the formula, is what should be codified to provide fairest and most accurate rate
  • Flat fees are likely more than 3x more than what a comparable gas vehicle would pay in gas tax
  • Formula is fair and non-arbitrary, unlike the flat fee proposals


Texas Association of Business

  • TAB believes that due to the budget shortfall and reduced revenue for all aspects of transportation funding the state should turn to Public-private partnerships and toll funding in order to make up the difference in funds
  • Need “every tool in the toolbox” to ensure Texas keeps moving
  • Oil production tax – down 30%; Natural gas production tax – down 41%; Motor vehicle sales and rental taxes – down 13%; Motor fuel taxes – down 8%
  • Public-private partnerships in the past resulted in $1 billion in funding being leveraged into $10 billion in state-owned highways, created thousands of jobs, freed up money for other projects, and provided congestion relief
  • Macro-trends nationally indicated that highway budget shortfalls were going to be problematic in the next 5 years after 2020
  • Prop 1 and 7 revenue could be reduced or redirected from the state highway fund to allocate the money to other areas, leaving TxDOT down several billion dollars
  • Supports public-private partnerships as an alternative funding method needed to build new projects, which is seeing increasing public support


Texas Friends of Transit

  • Texas needs to invest in a forward-looking long-term transit solution to proactively respond to population increases and budget changes
  • Use of austerity measures in Texas to fund transit have left major metropolitan areas at a disadvantage compared to comparable regions in other states
  • Public transit is much safer (90% reduced risk of accident) than driving in a car
  • 3 key recommendations
  • Recommends adding new funding for transit for major metropolitan areas
  • Recommends allowing TxDOT to use existing funding for best use, including transit needs
  • Recommends allowing metropolitan areas to fund their own transit needs
  • Texas is the only state that does not have dedicated transit funding for major metro areas, and the only state that does not allow metropolitan areas to locally fund transit projects
  • Each public dollar spent on transit produces 70% more job hours than that dollar spent on highways
  • Six proposed strategies for state transit funding for major metros
  • Increase state gas tax to match lower ends of the tax in other large states with large urban areas, dedicating a portion of the tax to urban metros
  • Create a state Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) tax to account for the cost of driving vehicles regardless of emissions and fuel costs. VMT tax should be credited to the Texas Mobility Fund for highest use
  • End required payment of state fuel taxes for public transit agencies
  • Include dedicated metro transit funding in the TxDOT budget
  • Create weight-based vehicle registration safety fees and dedicate a portion of the revenue to increasing access to public transit
  • Allocate a portion of the Texas Emissions Reductions Plan account to help Texas transit agencies electrify their fleets and deploy zero emissions vehicles
  • Restrictions on major transportation funding have limited TxDOT’s ability to address the state’s complex transportation needs
  • Legislature should include a constitutional amendment that would clarify Prop 1 and 7 funds be used for “transportation” more broadly than just personal vehicle related projects. TxDOT funds need to be able to be used for pressing needs based on a performance-based decision making system
  • Local officials should be allowed to spend voter-approved regional transportation funding packages, which would greatly increase the ability of metro areas to invest in transit without state funding burden
  • Texas gas tax has not been changed from 20 cents/gallon since it was passed in 1991. Legislature should raise the tax by 20 cents to 40 cents/gallon
  • Recommend the following distribution of funds:
  • A nickel for public transportation
  • A nickel for road maintenance and retrofitting existing facilities to current safe, design standards
  • Three cents for property tax relief through additional education funding
  • A penny for congestion
  • A penny for Road to Zero safety
  • A penny for Safe Routes to Schools
  • A penny for sidewalks and the ADA transition plan
  • A penny for mitigation of the land, air, and health environmental costs of our transportation system
  • A penny for resiliency, disaster recovery, and sustainable economic development focused on supporting low-income Texas families


Texas Trucking Association

  • Trucking industry accounted for $41.3 billion in federal and state highway-user taxes in 2017, accounting for 46% of the Highway Trust fund
  • Cites and summarizes ATRI report, A Framework for Infrastructure Funding
  • Federal HTF continues to fun at a deficit, largely due to outdated fuel tax numbers
  • Congress has not increased federal excise tax since 1993
  • Many alternatives have been extensively studied at the federal, state, and local levels, including alternative taxation, tolling, and milage-based user charges
  • Federal motor fuels tax is an incredibly efficient method of collecting revenue. The government paid only 0.2% of the total revenue collected to collect it, largely due to the minimal points of collection, with fuel companies directly paying the tax to the government rather than individuals
  • Outdated tax rates and resistance on the federal and state level in some cases has resulted in the tax becoming unsustainable at current rates
  • While the trucking industry pays comparable amounts today as it did in 1993, this is due to lack of increase in fuel efficiency. However, personal vehicles have seen significant increases in fuel efficiency, leading to significantly reduced revenue
  • In Texas, the price of gasoline has tripled since the last motor fuels tax adjustment in 1991, but the revenue has not risen as quickly due to the rate being based on volume and not price per gallon
  • Federal and state exemptions to the motor fuel tax resulted in almost $1 billion in lost revenue
  • Indexing the tax to inflation and/or increasing the tax would result in increased effectiveness of the fuel tax
  • Registration fees could help close the funding gap
  • Federal government could implement a Vehicle Miles Traveled tax (VMT tax), but this would be much less efficient than the current fuel tax scheme
  • A VMT tax would require built-in tracking devices in every vehicle, as well as a method of accounting for “invisible” cars without the devices, resulting in a significant cost of at least $12 billion annually to collect the tax, as well as a new and complex bureaucratic system for collection
  • As much as 50% of commercial trucks in Texas are exempt from the use of Electronic Logging Devices to verify Hours of Service, meaning it would pose a significant challenge to adopt this technology on a wider scale
  • Texas currently receives around $3.5 billion annually from the FHWA, which would increase by around $1.3 billion if the federal fuels tax were increased by 10cents


The Borderplex Alliance

  • Supports the study of the current mix of user fee-based funding for the state highway system, including registration fees, tolls, and fuel tax, as well as examining if current legislative appropriations are adequate for maintaining Texas roads and expanding them


Transportation Advocates of Texas/True Texas Project

  • Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) awards hundreds of millions monthly for transport projects, which boosts economic growth and provides for the exponential population growth Texas is experiencing
  • Budget uncertainties should not jeopardize funding for roads and transport projects, which play a large role in economic recovery
  • Budget shortfalls and gaps in transportation funding and needs can be met through a variety of alternative funding methods
  • Recommends committing to uninterrupted highway improvement


Volkswagen Group of America

  • VWGoA supports over 8,000 jobs and $1.5 billion in economic output in the state of Texas
  • Volkswagen Group investing over $60 billion over next few years into Electric Vehicles (EVs) and associated technology
  • Adoption of EVs remains low in the US, and in Texas accounted for 0.18% of vehicle sales, only 0.0011% of all vehicles on Texas roads
  • State should avoid policies like EV registration fees that discourage customer interest and hamper the increased adoption of EVs, and would only produce an estimated 0.0002% increase in revenue
  • Recognize that all vehicles must “pay their fair share”
  • Conservatively, each new EV on Texas roads generates around $407 total benefits, which equates to around $13.4 million in total benefits in 2020, which may increase to up to $3.7 billion upon widespread adoption
  • New fees jeopardize these benefits


Mike Guggisberg

  • Supports the following:
  • No new taxes, tolls, fees, or debt
  • A lean and transparent highway department and toll agencies
  • Agencies that are responsive to the taxpayers, not special interests
  • Projects prioritized by objective measurements
  • Projects’ price tags scaled to available funds
  • Zero-based budgeting implemented and disclosed so it can be verified


Nathan Hamilton

  • Re-submits testimony of TURF and TTFH


Jimmy M. Lamberth

  • Concerned with “transparency” issues with the TxDOT and Tolling Agencies, including accounting mistakes/misappropriation
  • Past public-private partnership contracts were “doctored” to justify the need for a toll road, and were negotiated with companies from foreign countries
  • Discusses the example of Toll Road 130 going bankrupt and remaining with the Creditors as a toll road instead of coming into the ownership of TxDOT and becoming a public road
  • Anecdote about friend with a trailer who was charged over $200 for a trip from Seguin to Georgetown and back due to charge per axel over 2
  • 18-wheelers avoid this toll road due to charges per axel
  • Raises concerns about contractors taking multiple contracts at once, leaving many projects idle
  • Raises concerns about oversight for TxDOT


Thomas E. Marburger

  • Supports the following:
  • No new taxes, tolls, fees, or debt
  • A lean and transparent highway department and toll agencies
  • Agencies that are responsive to the taxpayers, not special interests
  • Projects prioritized by objective measurements
  • Projects’ price tags scaled to available funds
  • Zero-based budgeting implemented and disclosed so it can be verified


Scott and Donna Sasse

  • Supports the following:
  • No new taxes, tolls, fees, or debt
  • A lean and transparent highway department and toll agencies
  • Agencies that are responsive to the taxpayers, not special interests
  • Projects prioritized by objective measurements
  • Projects’ price tags scaled to available funds
  • Zero-based budgeting implemented and disclosed so it can be verified


Margot Shields

  • Supports the following:
  • No new taxes, tolls, fees, or debt
  • A lean and transparent highway department and toll agencies
  • Agencies that are responsive to the taxpayers, not special interests
  • Projects prioritized by objective measurements
  • Projects’ price tags scaled to available funds
  • Zero-based budgeting implemented and disclosed so it can be verified


Michael S. Sisley

  • Supports the following:
  • No new taxes, tolls, fees, or debt
  • A lean and transparent highway department and toll agencies
  • Agencies that are responsive to the taxpayers, not special interests
  • Projects prioritized by objective measurements
  • Projects’ price tags scaled to available funds
  • Zero-based budgeting implemented and disclosed so it can be verified


Milton J. Turner Jr.

  • Expresses concern with overbilling and excess fines associated with overdue fines
  • Requests the legislature address the following:
    • Decriminalization of non-payment of tolls
    • Uniform and timely billing system for tolls
    • Statute of limitations on tolls more than 6 months old
    • Cap toll fines at under $50 per year across all agencies
    • Proof of notice of toll before billing
    • Immediate notification of payment information issue to customers
    • Payment plan implementation for those unable to pay full toll amount at due date
  • Supports disabled veterans’ use of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes regardless of number of individuals in the vehicle