If approved by the voters, the increase in the sales tax would pay off currently issued transportation bonds about 18 years early and save taxpayers more than $6 billion in interest, Eltife said. The tax has a sunset date and would be eliminated when the bonds are paid off.
“We have spent the last 10 years funding TxDOT projects with debt and have maxed out the credit card. It's time we deal with our debt problem,” Eltife said in a release. “It would have been much more conservative to have raised taxes years ago and paid cash for transportation projects. But we did not take that route.”
This approach frees up $1 billion per year for TxDOT to spend on much-needed projects and will put the state on a 'pay as you go' plan, he said.
“None of us likes to raise taxes; however, the responsible thing to do is to pay off our credit card and return to the 'pay as you go' system that served this state so well for many years. It's one option we can at least give the voters the opportunity to decide,” Eltife said.
If passed by the House and Senate, SJR 47 would go before voters on Nov. 5. Eltife previously filed legislation that if passed would allow voters to limit non-judicial statewide office holders to two-consecutive terms.