URGENT MESSAGE from NETT President Earl Erickson – PLEASE HELP!

» Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off



The NETT needs your help TODAY!

Tell your Texas State Representative and Senator
to FULLY FUND our State Parks
under House Bill 78, by Rep. Ryan Guillen


The Texas Sporting Goods Sales Tax was created to fund Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD)– not to be used for other purposes at the whim of the legislature….But both House and Senate appropriations committees are poised to carve out $92 million from the sporting good sales tax to do just that.

  • This must be fixed now! The Budget Conference Committee can correct this error before the budget is ultimately finalized.
  • Representative Ryan Guillen authored House Bill 78 to ensure that the funding glitch is fixed and that Texas Parks and Wildliife Department receives all of the available proceeds of the sporting goods sales tax, as originally intended.
  • House Bill 78 will be heard by the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday, May 4.
  • In addition to developing and maintaining our priceless State Parks, TPWD provides Recreational Trails funding for trails all over the state, including rail-to-trail corridors such as Caprock Canyons, Mineral Wells, and our proposed 130-mile long NorthEast Texas Trail from Farmersville, near McKinney through Paris to New Boston, near Texarkana.  
  • If House Bill 78 fails to pass, the NETT’s goal to become a Texas State Linear Park will be seriously delayed or possibly permanently defeated, since Texas Parks and Wildlife’s funding will be drastically curtailed by $92 million dollars.

Your Call to Action!

Contact your State Representative and Senator immediately via phone call or email and tell them that you support Texas State Parks.  Urge them to support HB 78 to bring TPWD up to its full funding level with YOUR Texas Sporting Goods Sales Tax.

Click HERE to find out who represents you in Austin!
Here is a basic script that can be used when contacting elected officials and their staff:

  • My name is _____ and my occupation is _____. I live in District ____. I support Texas State Parks.
  • Please support HB 78 by Rep. Ryan Guillen, scheduled for a hearing on May 4th in House Appropriations Committee.
  • Find out if your Representative is on the Budget Conference Committee.  If so, ask them to “Please correct the $92 million shortfall in the TPWD budget by appropriating  the entire 94% of the Sporting Goods Sales Tax that was intended for parks into the TPWD budget.”
In addition, feel free to use the following talking points as they relate to you personally.  This will help your elected official to understand why the issue is important to you!

  1. State and local parks are vital to our state’s economy, my local economy, and to preserving our Texas heritage, culture, and way of life.
  2. This bill would amend the Parks and Wildlife Code and permanently require that 94% of the Sporting Goods Sales Tax be appropriated for the state and local parks, as it was intended.
  3. I am proud to join a diverse range of voters in supporting our parks. From hunting and fishing groups, to environmentalists and conservation organizations, we stand together in support of proper funding for our parks.
  4. The Comptroller’s revenue estimate for the 2018-2019 biennium budget shows the Sporting Goods Sales Tax will bring in an estimated $333.5 million. Under the tax code, 94% of that should be appropriated for state and local parks.  However, there is a $92.5 million shortfall in the budget.
  5. As a proud Texan and friend of the parks, I am calling on you to fully fund Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s 94% ($313.5 million) so that they will have consistency in the budget and be able to properly maintain, operate, and expand our state parks for all Texans to enjoy.
    **Make sure to thank your Legislators for their time and consideration!**



Thank you for speaking up on behalf of Texas Parks and Wildlife’s State Parks and the NorthEast Texas Trail.
Joining together with other parks and trails advocacy groups across the State of Texas in this way we will let our Legislators know that

Happy Trails,
Earl Erickson
NETT Coalition President