Statement by Justin Keener, Vice President of Policy and Communications:

“Two weeks ago, the Texas Senate approved a budget that continued the diversion of $1.3 billion of our gasoline taxes to non-transportation purposes. Rather than doing the hard work of setting better priorities so that these taxes could be spent on transportation, the Senate decided instead to create six new taxes on drivers.

“Our research shows that Texas’ economic strength was largely due to a lower overall tax burden. These six new taxes could significantly reduce Texas’ economic advantage and create a stiff headwind to our much-needed economic recovery.

“What started as a local effort to help the Dallas/Fort Worth region build light rail has quickly expanded with virtually no public input, and now includes significant potential tax increases for most of the state’s population centers.

“Texans are looking to the legislature for relief during hard economic times, yet the Senate chose to imitate financially dysfunctional states by nickel-and-diming citizens when they can least afford it.”

Justin Keener is Vice President of Policy and Communications for the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin. More information can be found on the Foundation’s website,

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