Estes files ‘Truth in Budgeting’ bill

By Messenger Staff | Published Saturday, February 2, 2013

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State Sen. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) Monday filed Senate Joint Resolution 23 to make the diversion of dedicated taxes and fees unconstitutional.

The resolution would prohibit using dedicated fees and taxes for a non-dedicated purpose or to certify the budget. Earlier, Gov. Rick Perry called on the Legislature to put an end to this budgetary practice.

The practice of diverting fees and taxes has been used every legislative session since 1995. In 2011, the Legislature used $4.949 billion in dedicated fees and taxes to certify the budget.

“I agree wholeheartedly with Governor Perry’s call to end the practice of using dedicated funds and specific fees for purposes for which they are not intended,” said Estes. “The practice of diverting fees is troubling, and our budget surplus affords us the perfect opportunity to end this budgetary practice.”

Estes has also filed Senate Joint Resolution 17 to stop the diversion of the sporting goods sales tax.

Funding for state parks must be restored in order to prevent park closures in 2014, said Estes, whose district includes Wise County.

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