Sen. John CaronaState Sen. John Carona says in today’s Dallas Morning News that Texas must “stop the diversion of gas tax funds for other uses.” That’s welcome news. While the state’s constitution currently requires transportation funds to be used for transportation expenses, “transportation” is a constantly-expending term.

According to the Morning News, almost a third of Texas’ gasoline tax revenues for transportation have been “diverted” away from true transportation projects.

As much as this is a question of policy (roads relieve congestion, not silly “mass” transit projects that don’t take people where they want to go in the time the need to be there), this is a question of honesty. Our gasoline taxes are paid explicitly under the presumption that the money is going to the upkeep and construction of roads in the Lone Star State.

Carona wants a constitutional amendment that would force the legislature to more tightly control the spending of transportation funds.

The state’s Transportation Commissioner, Ric Williamson, says in the same article that while the diversion of funds has been legal, that “doesn’t mean it is what the Legislature ought to do.”

Honesty and transparency. Two pretty good cornerstones for the effective management of the taxpayer’s money… We’ll see if it catches on.

 

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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