Prop. 5 will benefit Inks state park

Connie Swinney/Burnet Bulletin
Despite sub-freezing conditions Tuesday, Nov. 12, Joseph Salazar spent the night with his family at Inks Lake State Park in Burnet County. The venue is slated to benefit from the passage of proposition 5, a voter-approved amendment to the Texas Constitution due to the dedication of more funds generated from existing sales taxes on sporting goods. The Texas Historical Commission will also benefit.

 

 

 

 

 

Savanna Gregg

Staff Writer

Burnet Bulletin

With an overwhelming 1.7 million votes tallied at the end of election day Tuesday, Nov. 5, Texans approved Proposition 5, a constitutional amendment appropriating revenue from the state's Sporting Goods Sales Tax to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission, ensuring steady funding for these entities to maintain their parks and historic sites for the enjoyment of future generations.

Local parks like Inks Lake State Park and Longhorn Cavern State Park will be able to enjoy the benefits of this revenue, and though it is too soon to tell how the funds will specifically impact these parks and others in the area, the appropriations will allow officials to plan and perform projects on a regular basis to maintain their property for the public's use.

“The approval of Proposition 5 allows the staff of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to strategically plan projects in advance knowing the same percentage of the Sporting Goods Sales Tax will be appropriated to the agency each biennium,” said Inks Lake State Park Superintendent Cory Evans. “Knowing that we will have the same percentage appropriated to the agency each biennium allows us to efficiently address the needs of the state parks system.”

The approval of the funds will take effect in the fiscal year 2022-2023 biennium, and Evans says officials will continue to use the allotments given to the TPWD during the last legislative session to keep the facilities operating, and begin planning larger-scale capital construction projects.

“The list of capital and maintenance projects to state parks and historic sites statewide is always in flux based on criticality and need,” Evans said. “We do have a list of projects we know need to be addressed but timing is dependent on a variety of factors.”

The funds will allow for needed upgrades throughout the parks such as more connectivity and the modernization of facilities, and a few other long-term projects.

“The long-term plan is to bring undeveloped sites owned by TPWD online including Albert and Bessie Kronkosky State Natural Area, Davis Hill State Park, Chinati Mountains State Natural Area, the Dan A. Hughes Unit of the Devils River State Natural Area and acreage adjacent to the Powderhorn WMA that is slated to be transferred to TPWD for future development as a state park,” Evans said.

Though these projects are years in the making, the funds allotted to state parks and historic sites from the Sporting Goods Sales Tax will eventually allow for updates to area parks that may be enjoyed for years to come.

“Most capital construction projects require years to execute and a reliable funding source allows us to have the flexibility to plan these extensive projects in the future,” Evans said.

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