Texas Senate to consider using vehicle sales tax for roads

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Senate Transportation Committee has approved a plan funneling part of the revenue from the state's vehicle sales tax into building and maintaining roads.

Sponsored by Sen. Robert Nichols, a Jacksonville Republican who chairs the committee, Wednesday's vote means the proposal can be considered by the full Senate.

Taxes collected on vehicle sales currently flow into the state budget's general revenue. Nichols' plan would divert tax collections over $2.5 billion annually for road infrastructure beginning in 2018.

Nichols said it could generate more than $2 billion annually.

Gov. Greg Abbott has made transportation infrastructure spending a priority, fast-tracking related bills through the Legislature.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick oversees the flow of Senate legislation and praised the plan, saying the Legislature previously had "relied too heavily on debt and tolls."

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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