PRESS RELEASE
From the Office of State Senator Troy Fraser

For Immediate Release
March 17, 1999
Contact: William A. Scott - (512) 463-0124

SMALL, RURAL COUNTIES TO BENEFIT UNDER FRASER LEGISLATION

AUSTIN -- State Senator Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, has filed legislation that would allow Texas counties with populations of 10,000 or less to keep five percent of the state motor vehicle sales tax revenues.

"Sparsely populated counties would benefit under this bill because it will make these revenues available to smaller counties as soon as they are collected by the county tax assessor or collector instead of having to wait until the end of the year to receive one check back from the state Comptroller," Fraser said.

Prior to 1993, counties retained five percent of the motor vehicle sales tax collected each month. In order to shift funds on the state level, the 73rd Legislature changed the way counties retained their share of revenues. Instead of keeping a percentage of the motor vehicle sales tax each month, counties retained additional motor vehicle registration fees.

The problem, Fraser said, is that sparsely populated counties do not collect enough registration money to retain the sales tax commission from the registration funds each month. As a result, those counties must wait a full calendar year to claim the commission and do not benefit from the immediate use of the funds.

"Some counties actually lose money because of the method of calculation," Fraser said. "The intent of this bill is to make sure sparsely populated counties can use the five percent of the motor vehicle tax in a timely manner as a source of revenue."

Under Senate Bill 1067, 89 Texas counties would be eligible to retain five percent of the motor vehicle sales tax. Ten of those counties -- Coke, Coleman, Concho, McCulloch, Menard, Mills, Mitchell, San Saba, Shackelford and Stephens -- are located in Senate District 24, which Fraser represents.

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