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More state money for Texas Parks


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I just read that the newly adopted Texas state budget dedicates 94% of sporting goods sales tax to be used only for parks in the state. This will be about $261.1 million over 2016-2017. The money is expected to go toward capital repairs, deferred maintenance, and local (city, county, etc.) parks throughout the state.

 

Isn't it encouraging that, while we often hear of budget cuts to our favorite camping destinations that Texas is putting resources into it's parks, which are already some of the best around.

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While this new budget appropriation is encouraging, the law that dedicate 94% of the sales tax on sporting goods to the parks is not new. It has been the law for years, but the law gave the legislature the final say in how much was actually appropriated. For years, less than the 94% was actually appropriated to the Park's budgets. Here are some links to the history: Sporting Goods Sales Tax Allocation, Senate Task Force Report on Use of Sales Tax on Sporting Goods, Sporting Goods Tax May Go to Parks as it was Intended. Only time will tell whether this is a one time occurrence or a long term committment to fund the parks.

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Scott, I'd definitely agree with you that it is good to see the state legislature addressing park needs, even if some of the allocation is only a renewal of previous activity. State legislators are part-time and amateurs as compared to the federal ones and may not be doing anything new but at the least is does show interest in and support of the state parks. Ken is right that there have been parks damaged by the recent flooding, but with most parks in places that flood fairly frequently we will hope that they were designed such that recovery is relatively easy and inexpensive.

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