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Texas Bicycle Coalition became aware of recently enacted legislation that could jeopardize the revenue from the Share the Road license plate. This critical revenue helps support Texas Bicycle Coalition Education Fund programs.
House Bill 2894 orders the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to enter into a contract with a private vendor to market the sale of specialty license plates. The private marketing firm would be paid with fees generated by increasing the annual cost of specialty license plates by $25. Thus, the Share the Road license plate fee would increase to $55 annually, with $25 from each plate benefiting the marketing firm and $22 continuing to benefit Texas Bicycle Coalition’s bicyclist and motorist safety education programs.
The Coalition acted quickly, contacting the beneficiary organizations of other specialty plates and alerting them of this threat. The Coalition also met with TxDOT to discuss the apparent problems with this legislation and contacted the bill’s sponsors in the Texas Legislature to ask for reconsideration of the impact of this legislation.
The Coalition remains cautiously optimistic that the legislation will be revoked. TxDOT is not rushing to enact the new rules, and the bill’s sponsors are now aware that the legislation looks like a fiscal handout. Texas Bicycle Coalition has successfully marketed the Share the Road license plate, as have other organizations, which is a key argument against the need to contract a third party.
Regardless, if you haven’t yet ordered your Share the Road license plate, now is the time to do so before any potential price increase. You can download a form at www.BikeTexas.org.
For more links to relevant documents and additional information about this legislation, please visit www.biketexas.org/hb2894