MISSION, Texas – James Mata is recently retired. He comes to Bentsen State Park to go fishing almost everyday. But he would like to see more funding coming into the park.
“I wish they could improve it a little bit better because it’s a good place. People can come and exercise. Walk around and do some sightseeing.”
With the current law in place, Park Ranger Roy Rodriguez says they don’t see all of the money coming in from state taxes. A new proposition could change that.
“A lot of the monies that may have in the past have been able to come to parks and wildlife have been used for other things. We’re about $800 million in deferred maintenance. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done already.” says Rodriguez.
The state’s sporting goods sales tax has been around for quite some time. Proposition 5 would require all profits made from the existing sales tax to go directly towards state parks.
“Many of our parks are 30 years old and some are even 70 years old. We have issues with infrastructure and so as more people are using the parks we want to be able to maintain these places so we can look at the future.” says Rodriguez.
Local visitors to Bentsen State Park want to see these changes being made.
Terrance King, Bentsen State Park Volunteer, “Nothing improves on its own, it degrades on its own. If we don’t have enough funding it’s going to go downhill and not get better.”
This proposition would not increase the current rate of the sporting goods sales tax, it would only ensure the money goes towards maintaining and protecting Texas Parks. If passed the money would go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as well as the Texas Historical Commission.