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Texas Gas Tax Increase, 2011

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The Texas Gas Tax Increase did not appear on the 2011 ballot as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment in the state of Texas. The proposed ballot measure would have increased gas taxes to generate revenue to improve highways, bridges and rail services.[1]

The measure was worked on by state and federal officials in order to raise the tax for the first time since 1991. At the time of the proposal Texans paid 38.4 cents per gallon in taxes, which translated to 20 cents state and 18.4 cents federal.

The proposed bill would have allowed large counties to hold local-option elections and raise taxes 5 to 10 cents more to extend rail services, but only if voters amended the state constitution to do so.

The 82nd session of the Texas State Legislature adjourned on May 30, 2011. However, Gov. Rick Perry called a special session of the Texas State Legislature that commenced May 31, 2011 in early June and adjourned June 29, 2011. Eight amendments were proposed during the special session, but none passed. Including this proposal.[2]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing direct democracy in Texas

As laid out in Article 17 of the Texas Constitution, in order for a proposed constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot, the Texas State Legislature must propose the amendment in a joint resolution of both the Texas State Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. The joint resolution can originate in either the House or the Senate. The resolution must be adopted by a vote of at least two-thirds of the membership of each house of the legislature. That amounts to a minimum of 100 votes in the House of Representatives and 21 votes in the Senate.

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