Lawmakers Should Keep Promise on Parks Funding

April 27th, 2017

April 26, 2017
Contact: Laura Hoke, 512-689-7393

TLCV: Lawmakers Should Keep Promises on Parks Funding

Austin, Texas – The Texas League of Conservation Voters is united with other conservation groups in calling for full appropriation of the sporting goods sales tax to state and local parks under a bill passed in the 2015 legislative session, the group said today.

The Texas House and Senate budget bills currently leave the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with a $100 million shortfall under current tax code, which appropriates 94 percent of the sporting goods sales tax to parks.

“This is a big blow to Texans,” said TLCV Executive Director Elizabeth Doyel. “Parks improve our health and our lives—right down to the air we breathe. Texans rely on our parks for outdoor recreation, and cities rely on them for revenue from tourism. Cutting hours, maintenance, and service due to lack of funding ultimately harms us all.”

Doyel said she and other advocates are disappointed the Legislature has failed to fully appropriate funds that are already designated for parks.

“Two years ago, the Legislature dedicated a significant percentage of the sporting good sales tax for state and local parks. Two years later, we are trying to understand why this is no longer a priority,” she added. “Our state’s population continues to grow, the number of visitors to our parks is growing, and our outdoor spaces are more vital than ever.”