For a decade, funding for Texas' parks has been stagnant, while population and costs increased. The results are many of our treasured public parks have degenerated to somewhere between shoddy and disgraceful. This goes against the will of Texans who have demonstrated at the ballot box and in opinion polls that they are willing to pay for more and better parks.
In 2005 this perfect storm of neglect and cost collided. Our parks ran out of money to operate fully.
The good news is it woke Texans up to the plight of our parks. Because of that hue and cry, a State Parks Advisory Committee was appointed to address the problems. That distinguished group met the challenge head-on; recommending increases in park funding of $85 million annually for 10 years! They did so within the revenue estimate of the "Sporting Goods Tax" which generates more than $112 million annually to support parks.
Those recommendations received near-universal approval. It is now time for the Texas legislators to honor their campaign promises to fix the problems.
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