Governor's Message to the 56th legislature. Page: 20 of 41
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every Texas county. I commend this committee and believe it has made many
recommendations which should be enacted into law and financed as soon as
conditions will permit. The continuous betterment of our public schools with
State and local money, rather than Federal aid, is the surest way to provide
proper education and maintain local control and operation of our schools.
In this connection it is proper that we should ask if the recommendations
in this message would leave sufficient sources of revenue for further enrichment
of our public schools, colleges, and highway programs. A comparison with the
other States will reveal that these additional sources are available within the
framework of our present tax structure.
For instance, among the taxes which we levy below the level of most of
the other States, but which I have not touched in the above recommendations, is
the gasoline tax. As shown by the Tax Study Commission, 35 States levy higher
taxes than our present rate of five cents per gallon. All of our adjoining States
are from one to two cents higher. A one-cent increase in this tax would preserve
our competitive position and yield $69, 840, 000 for the next biennium. One-fourth
of this ($17, 460, 000) would go under our Constitution to the Available School Fund.
If the Colson-Briscoe Farm-to-Market Road program was financed out of this new
one cent instead of the General Fund, it would make available $30 million for the
biennium for school or other purposes and still leave $22, 380, 000 to meet additional
needs of the State Highway Department. Elimination of the schools' one-fourth of
the gasoline tax refund would add another $9, 400, 000, which makes a total of
$56, 860, 000 that could be made available for the biennium for public education from
this source alone.
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Price, Daniel. Governor's Message to the 56th legislature., book, January 21, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5870/m1/20/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .