Texas’ so-called Rainy Day Fund is an emergency pool of money that comes from oil and gas taxes. The account has ballooned with Texas’ most recent oil and gas boom and has been turned to recently to shore up statewide water and road projects. State lawmakers established a minimum balance for the fund to make sure Texas always has some extra cash on hand.
On Election Day, Texans voted to put money generated from the severance tax on oil and gas towards the Texas highway fund. With 80 percent of the vote, proposition 1 was seen as a hugely popular push to fix Texas’ crumbling highway system. But falling gas prices means next year there might not be as much money available.
With Congress moving a step closer passing a bill that funds transportation projects across the country, the Texas Department of Transportation was in Waco to get public comment on projects. McLennan County is expected to have about 50,000 more people living in the area in 25 years. But TxDOT says it doesn’t have enough money to keep up with population growth.
The Texas legislature is mulling the first increase to the fuel tax since 1992. The discussion comes at the same time that some lawmakers in Congress are pushing for an increase to the federal fuel tax, which hasn’t been adjusted since 1993.