Texas Bonds for Highway Improvement Projects, Proposition 12 (2007)

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The Texas Bonds for Highway Improvement Projects Amendment, also known as Proposition 12, was on the November 6, 2007 ballot in Texas as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure provided up to $5 billion in general obligation bonds to provide funding for highway improvement projects.[1][2][3]

Election results

Texas Proposition 12 (2007)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 670,186 62.60%
No400,38337.40%

Election results via: Legislative Reference Library of Texas

Text of measure

The text of the measure can be read here.

Support

Arguments

Supporters believed that the issuance on this bond was necessary in order to stop greater traffic congestion, provide upkeep of rural roads and help with border congestion.

  • Supporters said there was at least a $77 billion state funding gap currently.
  • These bonds would allow for a lower interest rate than Fund 6.

Opposition

Opponents

Some critics of the Texas Department of Transportation organized a group called TexasTollParty, which opposed the Proposition 12 bond issue. Sal Costello, who founded TexasTollParty, fought the bond issue because he believed it would lead to toll roads in the future. According to Costello, "They will use every dollar they get to become a taxing authority and shift our public highways to tollways."[4]

The group Americans for Prosperity has also opposed the bond issue.

Arguments

Opponents said that the state could not afford to take on this additional debt.

  • Borrowing would increase the state's costs in terms of forgone interest earned on cash balances and bring interest charges for new borrowing
  • TxDOT, an agency that works with road construction, has not been forthright with the Texas legislature
  • This money should not be tied up when it could be used to certify the budget

Media editorial positions

Support

  • The Dallas Morning News said, "Texas is behind in scraping up enough money to expand and maintain its system of roadways. Voters should say yes."[5]

Opposition

  • The Austin Chronicle said, "If these "No New Taxes" Republicans want highways, let them pay for 'em up front, with appropriations that cost less and are directly accountable."[6]

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.

See also

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External links

References


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