Please Vote to Support Texas State Parks and Historic Sites
UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who voted. Proposition 5 Passed with 88% of the vote! You can see all of the state proposition results on the Texas Secretary of State's website.
Video: You Can Help Texas State Parks!
By now, it's no secret that we LOVE our Texas State Parks and Historical Sites. Our parks are important for overall health and education. They are a place to escape from the chaos of everyday schedules. A place to relax. A place to exercise our bodies through hiking, biking and kayaking. And a place for exercising our minds through history, geology, ecology, birdwatching... we could go on. But to us, our state parks and historic sites are a very important part of our community and right now, we all have a chance to help build the future of our parks.
During the November 2019 election, Texas voters have the opportunity to support Texas State Parks and Historical Sites. Voting "Yes" on Proposition 5 will provide the parks with a consistent source of funding so that they can effectively budget for maintenance, improvements and expansions.
A Little Bit of History on Park Funding
Since 1993, funding for Texas State Parks and Historic Sites has come from a sporting goods sales tax. However, current law states that State Park revenue is capped at a max of 94% and Historic Sites at a max of 6% of the overall funds brought in by the sporting goods sales tax. The keyword here is "max". In most years, our state parks have received much less than 70% (and sometimes closer to 40%). Our parks are in need of infrastructure work, repairs, maintenance and expansion projects. But there is currently no consistent budget for planning and carrying out these projects.
Under current law, any amount of the sporting goods sales tax meant for the parks can be easily allocated to other departments and projects away from the parks and historic sites. Proposition 5 could change that practice.
What is Proposition 5?
Proposition 5 on the November 2019 Texas ballot earmarks 100% of the sporting goods sales tax revenue that is already being collected for Texas Parks and Wildlife and Texas Historical Commission. If it passes, it will make it much more difficult for lawmakers to take monies intended for the parks and use them on other projects. This is not a new tax, it is simply a clarification of how the sales tax revenue can be allocated by lawmakers.
Proposition 5 reads, "The constitutional amendment dedicating the revenue received from the existing state sales and use taxes that are imposed on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission to protect Texas’ natural areas, water quality, and history by acquiring, managing, and improving state and local parks and historic sites while not increasing the rate of the state sales and use taxes."
What Prop 5 Means For Our Parks
If Proposition 5 passes, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Texas Historical Commission will have much more consistent budgets. It will be much more difficult for legislators to allocate the funds from the sporting goods sales tax to other projects away from the parks. And with a more consistent budget, the parks and historic sites will be able to move forward with infrastructure repairs, maintenance, improvements and expansion projects. And that benefits all of us who use the parks.
You Can Make a Difference!
So how can you help our state parks and historic sites? As they say, "Sharing is caring". Please share this with your friends, family and neighbors to help get the word out. If you are registered to vote in Texas, please vote "Yes" to Proposition 5 in the November 5, 2019 election. Early Voting begins Monday, October 21, 2019 and runs through Friday, November 1, 2019. If you are traveling and unable to make it to the polls, you can check with your county about voting by mail.
If you are not registered to vote in Texas, please consider sharing this information with your friends and family who are Texas residents.
More Information About Proposition 5:
Here are some resources to help you with your research on Prop 5...
Thank you for taking the time to learn about Proposition 5. We look forward to seeing you out at a state park or historic site soon!