In the next two years voters will be deciding two propositions that take a percentage from the oil and gas tax money helping grow the state’s Rainy Day Fund.
The first of those is up for a vote this November and would take $2 billion out of the fund to help pay for water projects. The second proposition, which will be on the 2014 ballot, will take $1 billion to fund transportation projects.
Many tea party Republicans fear having both propositions back to back will take too much away from the Rainy Day Fund in too short a time, but a new study by the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association shows money coming in from the oil and gas companies leaves a healthy reserve fund for the next six years.
"The Texas oil industry right now is incredibly healthy," said Dale Craymer, the group's executive director. "Those projects can continue to move forward even if the prices drop substantially, so we think the revenue going into the Rainy Day Fund is an ongoing source of revenue for years to come."
Craymer said those gains from oil companies operating in South Texas and in the Permian Basin are so great over the next six years that he encourages the legislature to re-evaluate how much is being siphoned off the Rainy Day to create an even greater source of revenue for transportation-related projects.