Early Voting Begins Monday; Constitutional Amendment Supporting State, Local Parks and Historic Sites on Ballot
Originally filed 10/17/2019 12:40 pm
It’s almost Election Day and while many folks might not think there is much on the ballot this time around, outdoors enthusiasts have more than enough reason to head to the polls. As they do, Texans will be asked to vote on 10 constitutional amendments, including 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 (TPWD) and the Texas Historical Commission (THC).
The Sporting Goods Sales Tax (SGST) is the portion of state sales taxes collected from the sale of sporting goods in Texas. It is neither a new tax nor will it 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 THC. The allocation of the funds would be split 93% to TPWD and 7% to THC.
Dedicated appropriations from the SGST would ensure a reliable and predictable source of funding to keep not only state parks and historic sites safe and in working order, but allows TPWD and THC to provide new outdoor recreational opportunities to meet the demands of a growing state.
Funding from the SGST would allow for millions of dollars to 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 between Kendall and Bandera County, Davis Hill State Park in Liberty County, Chinati Mountains State Natural Area in Presidio County, the Dan A. Hughes Unit of Devils River State Natural Area in Val Verde County and acreage adjacent to the Powderhorn Wildlife Management Area in Calhoun County slated to be transferred to TPWD for future development as a state park.
The SGST 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, replacement of restrooms at Caddo Lake State Park and repairs to the dam at Huntsville State Park, just to name a few.
A list of on-going and completed repair and improvement projects at state parks across Texas can be found online at this link.