With another legislative session under way, state parks are in jeopardy
As in previous years, lawmakers sympathetic to the plight of the parks, which have long-running maintenance problems, are pushing for the park system to get more of the revenue generated by a 1993 tax on outdoors sporting goods.
The tax is estimated to pull in $250 million during the current biennium. But the Legislature only appropriated $26 million a year for parks — even though 94 percent of sporting goods sales tax money is meant to be used on parks.
State Rep. Lyle Larson, a member of the committee that oversees the Parks and Wildlife Department, has introduced two measures to move more of that tax money into the department.
“We have to collect the fee for what it’s used for or stop collecting the fee,” said Larson, R-San Antonio.
This department and public parks should be fully funded with the allocation of money that is owed them. They generate more than enough money to sustain themselves through the sporting goods tax. Yet the Texas Lege steals it from them and them makes them beg for money.
I think consumers of those sporting goods that get taxed should cry foul! I would love to see a class action lawsuit by hunters or other sportsmen saying the state defrauded them. They are paying to support their parks and rivers etc. and the state is stealing their money and using it for totally unrelated things.