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Funding for transportation needs in Texas

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Texas - Lawmakers are discussing ways to fund Texas' growing transportation needs.

They say a long-term solution is needed.

The Texas Department of Transportation has a $10 billion annual budget but after 2014, that amount is projected to only cover maintenance.

There would be no money left for expansion or construction.

This is troubling for many, since Texas' population and transportation needs continues to grow.

That's why state lawmakers are welcoming new funding ideas, including a $50 a year increase in vehicle registration fees.

The top potential fix is a constitutional amendment to dedicate the sales tax on vehicle purchases to TxDOT.

Several legislative leaders favor the option since it would not raise consumers' taxes overall.

It would instead take money generated by a transportation-related purchase and use it for transportation-related infrastructure.

It has the potential to bring in $3 billion a year and eventually that money could be spent to pay off heavy debt payments and to build roads, bridges and other critical projects.

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