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Photo by Chase Fountain / TPWD

STATE PARKS

Prop. 5 Would Provide Needed Park Funding

Funds would be constitutionally dedicated to needs of Texas’ parks and historic sites.


Texans will have the opportunity this fall to vote on 10 constitutional amendments, including parks-related Proposition 5. If approved, Prop. 5 would guarantee that revenue received from the collection of existing state sales taxes on sporting goods is appropriated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission. Early voting begins Oct. 21.

The sporting goods sales tax is the portion of state sales taxes collected in Texas from the sale of sporting goods such as bicycles and fishing tackle. It is not a new tax and will not raise taxes. State law currently authorizes the Legislature to make appropriations from the collection of sales taxes on sporting goods to support state parks, historic sites and local park grants, and Prop. 5 constitutionally dedicates these funds to TPWD and the Historical Commission. The allocation of the funds would be split 93 percent to TPWD and 7 percent to the Historical Commission.

Dedicated appropriations would ensure a reliable and predictable source of funding to not only keep state parks and historic sites safe and in working order but also allow the two agencies to provide new outdoor recreational opportunities to meet the demands of a growing state.

Millions of dollars would be dedicated toward the creation and continuing development of city, county and neighborhood parks through TPWD’s local park grant program. These grants help secure the future of local parks, ensuring they will be available for generations of families in Texas to enjoy.

Additionally, the funding could help build and open undeveloped sites owned by TPWD, including the Albert and Bessie Kronkosky State Natural Area in the Hill Country, Davis Hill State Park northeast of Houston, Chinati Mountains State Natural Area near Big Bend, the Dan A. Hughes Unit of Devils River State Natural Area near Del Rio and acreage adjacent to the Powderhorn Wildlife Management Area on the coast slated to be transferred for future development as a state park.

The sporting goods tax has been instrumental in funding numerous repair and improvement projects within the Texas state park system, such as the new visitors centers at Mission Tejas State Park and Franklin Mountains State Park, new cabins at Fort Boggy State Park, restroom and wastewater treatment plant replacement at Garner State Park, restroom replacement at Caddo Lake State Park and repairs to the dam at Huntsville State Park, to name just a few.

A list of ongoing and completed repair and improvement projects at state parks across Texas can be found online at texasstateparks.org/brighterfuture.

For more information on the Nov. 5 election, visit the Texas secretary of state’s website at www.votetexas.gov.



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