Tackling transportation in 2021: TAG-Houston outlines legislative agenda

TAG-Houston's regional map of needed transportation projects shows which routes are in need of which kind of projects.
TAG-Houston's regional map of needed transportation projects shows which routes are in need of which kind of projects.

TAG-Houston's regional map of needed transportation projects shows which routes are in need of which kind of projects.

Image description
Before the 2021 Texas legislative session began, the Transportation Advocacy Group-Houston Region, a coalition of businesses, nonprofits and other entities, planned on seeking support for transportation priorities from state legislators.

TAG Executive Director Andrea French said the organization plans on focusing on three major pieces of legislation: general transportation funding, indexing the gas tax and filing legislation regarding alternative-fueled vehicles paying into the State Highway Fund, which is made up of portions of oil and gas severance taxes, general sales tax and motor vehicle sales tax.

“Transportation is not like other investments that the state needs to make,” French said. “When you invest in transportation, you are also investing in jobs and the economy.”

To prepare for the legislative session, TAG has been hosting lunch-and-learn sessions throughout the year in order to continue promoting its message.

An interactive map is available at www.taghouston.org


Invest in transportation

TAG is asking for Texas legislators to continue funding transportation projects across the state because they have a direct effect on the economy.

  • Every $1 invested in transportation: $3-$6 in economic return

  • Every $1 billion invested in transportation: around 13,000 jobs created

  • Total funding currently needed for Houston highway projects: $19.5 billion

  • Other regional mobility project funding needed: $53 billion




Index the gas tax

TAG wants the gas tax to be indexed to keep up with the inflation rate.

Indexing could provide more funding for transportation projects, according to TAG.

  • The Texas gas tax was last changed in: 1991

  • Indexing does not mean an increase; indexing involves adjusting for the inflation rate.

  • Gas tax is used to fund the State Highway Fund.


Discuss alternative fuels


  • TAG wants to begin talks in 2021 regarding legislation for alternative-fueled vehicles, which currently do not contribute to the highway fund.

  • TAG wants to promote vehicle equity so more people contribute equally to the transportation fund.

  • “Something needs to be done,” TAG Executive Director Andrea French said.

  • French said it is not known what fee collection could look like.


Editor's note: This originally appeared in the December edition. The legislative session began Jan. 12.
By Andrew Christman
Andrew joined Community Impact Newspaper in early 2019 after moving from Indiana. He is a 2015 graduate from Indiana State University, where he received degrees in English and journalism. He has written for a number of small town publications throughout his career as a reporter.


MOST RECENT

The Firework Extravaganza will begin at 9:30 p.m. July 4 (Courtesy The Woodlands Township)
Celebrate dad, see Fourth of July fireworks: 12 things to do in The Woodlands area this June and July

Events in The Woodlands area in June and July include celebrations for Father's Day and the Fourth of July.

The Woodlands Township board of directors will meet June 17. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Woodlands to resume incorporation planning sessions June 17

After a break of more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Woodlands Township will resume its incorporation planning meetings June 17.

ShareTea opened in Metropark Square in early June. (Courtesy ShareTea)
ShareTea now open in Metropark Square

ShareTea opened June 7 at the Metropark Square in The Woodlands.

Avanti Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar opened a second location. (Courtesy Avanti Italian Kitchen)
Avanti Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar opens second location in The Woodlands

The new location comes after the original location receive positive reception from the Creekside community.

The Shenandoah City Council approved a resolution regarding an updated thoroughfare plan June 9. (Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper)
Shenandoah City Council weighs in on Montgomery County's 2021 thoroughfare plan

Among the projects opposed by the council is an I-45 overpass from Vision Park Drive.

Taco Bueno sells tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos and more unique items, including the Muchaco, a taco made with a soft pita-like shell. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Taco Bueno coming to Katy and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Sen. Brandon Creighton announced his re-election campaign for Texas Senate District 4 on June 10. (Courtesy Brandon Creighton)
'Unfinished business remains': Brandon Creighton aims at re-election for Texas Senate District 4

Creighton announced his plans to run for re-election to serve his third term for the 88th Texas Legislature.

Q&A: Dirk Lange, president and CEO of KBI Biopharma, talks about biotech growth in The Woodlands

KBI Biopharma began operating at its site in The Woodlands in 2017 and has more than doubled in size to 60 employees in the last several years.

Economist Elliot Eisenberg spoke about the economic recovery post-pandemic, saying this year's GDP growth will be the best since the 1950s. (Brooke Ontiveros/Community Impact Newspaper)
Economist explains housing demand, price booms in Texas, Greater Houston area

Eisenberg explained why home prices are rising at a June 9 Greater Houston Builders Association luncheon.

Officials with the Harris County Justice Administration Department said they identified racial disparities in citations and use of force by law enforcement, among other areas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harris County identifies racial disparities in use of force, citations from law enforcement agencies

Analysis in the report included racial demographics in instances of consent search, contraband discovery, traffic stops that led to arrests, types of citations or warnings, and use of force.

Hughes Landing is one of two locations where new office leases were signed by The Howard Hughes Corp. in The Woodlands in early June. (Courtesy The Howard Hughes Corp.)
Howard Hughes Corp. names 6 new tenants for Hughes Landing, The Woodlands Waterway

The Howard Hughes Corp. announced June 9 six companies in fields including commercial real estate, cyber intelligence, energy and bioscience have signed leases at The Woodlands office buildings.