Voters pass Texas Prop. 7 for state roadway funding

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Updated Nov. 4 at 8:01 a.m.

More than 83 percent of Texas voters who voted in the Nov. 3 election gave approval to the Proposition 7 constitutional amendment to dedicate more funding toward the State Highway Fund.

Voters approved Proposition 7 by 83.2 percent, or 1,292,987 votes. Those against the proposition accounted for 16.8 percent of the vote, or 260,530 votes. Only one precinct had yet to have votes recorded as of 8 a.m. Nov. 4, according to the Secretary of State’s website.

In early voting, the numbers were nearly identical. Early voters in favor of Proposition 7 accounted for 83.9 percent, or 577,930 votes. About 16.1 percent of voters, or 110,841, were against the measure. All election results are unofficial until canvassed.

About 11.1 percent of the state’s nearly 14 million registered voters cast ballots in the Proposition 7 election.

Posted Nov. 3 at 9:35 p.m.

With more than 65 percent of precincts reporting, about 83.6 percent of voters are in favor Texas Proposition 7, which would dedicate more funding toward maintaining state roadways.

Of the 1.2 million ballots counted as of 9:31 p.m., 1,003,464, or 83.6 percent, have voted in favor of the proposition. More than 197,300 voters, or 16.4 percent, voted against the proposition. All election results are unofficial until canvassed.

Jack Ladd, president of Austin-based Move Texas Forward, which aims to educate Texans on transportation issues, said he is more relieved than excited about the likely passage of Proposition 7.

“I’m so excited for our state that we would address this,” he said. “If the [transportation funding]gap is not addressed, we’re going to be looking at congestion getting to point where I don’t think any of us want to go.”

Proposition 7 asks voters to approve a constitutional amendment to divert $2.5 billion each fiscal year from the general sales and use tax revenue after state revenue exceeds $28 billion to the State Highway Fund. The amendment would expire Aug. 31, 2032, unless extended.

It also would dedicate 35 percent of motor vehicle sales tax revenue each fiscal year after the first $5 billion to the SHF. It would expire Aug. 31, 2029, unless extended.

If approved, $2.5 billion would go into the SHF in fiscal year 2018-19 and an estimate $3.04 billion would appear in the SHF in FY 2021-22.

Ladd said he hopes the fact that more than 80 percent of voters are in favor of the proposition will send a message to state legislators to keep funding transportation.

“While Proposition 7 was absolutely necessary, at the end of the day, the money we receive is still not enough to improve our situation,” Ladd said. “This is just to maintain our current congestion and road quality levels. I hope it is political capital [for the Legislature]to continue to act on it.”

Proposition 7 is a result of state legislators passing Senate Joint Resolution 5, which called for the constitutional amendment.

This is the second year in a row voters will weigh in on statewide transportation funding. In November 2014, voters approved Proposition 1, which diverts funding from the oil and gas tax to the SHF.

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Amy Denney
Amy has been reporting in community journalism since 2007. She worked in the Chicago suburbs for three years before migrating south and joined Community Impact Newspaper in September 2010. Amy has been editor of the Northwest Austin publication since August 2012 and she is also the transportation beat reporter for the Austin area.
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