SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – One of the proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution would make sure that all revenue from the sporting goods sales tax go to the state parks and wildlife department and historic commission.
Luke Metzger with Environment Texas says that was the intention when the tax was created in 1993, but most of the money has gone elsewhere.
“The Legislature kind of raids those funds and uses them for other purposes,” Metzger told KTSA News.
He says from 1993 to 2017, the state collected nearly $2.5 billion in revenues from the sporting goods sales tax, but only 40 percent was appropriated for parks.
“Some of our state parks have been hit by natural disasters, whether it’s the wildfires in Bastrop or Hurricane Harvey, so they’re in need of funds,” said Metzger.
The money is used for improvements and renovations, as well as building new parks.
“Our state is growing by leaps and bounds and there’s increasing demand for state parks,” he said.
Environment Texas stopped at Mission County Park Wednesday as part of a statewide tour promoting Proposition 5, one of 10 proposed state constitutional amendments on the November 5 ballot. Early voting begins Monday, October 21, and continues through November 1.