Spotlight On The 87th: HB 1698

February 9, 2022
TFR Staff
John Raney, Regulation

Primary election season is upon us, and it is a great time to look back and review some of the more fiscally irresponsible votes lawmakers claiming to be “conservative” on the campaign trail took before we decide to trust them again with our support. Today we are focusing on legislation (HB 1698) authored by State Rep. John Raney (R-Bryan). This legislation increased your vehicle registration fees in order to grow the size and scope of government instead of cutting frivolous programs.

The HB 1698 bill analysis explains the purpose of the bill as: “C.S.H.B. 1698 amends the Transportation Code to authorize any county that is part of a regional mobility authority to impose an additional county vehicle registration fee to be used for funding long-term transportation projects in the county.”

The bill raises the amount of registration fees many Texans will pay every year in perpetuity to fund a bloated and wasteful transportation system that favors toll roads owned by foreign countries and wasteful programs over fiscally responsible governance.

This bill was passed in complete opposition to a plank of the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Platform, which states, “Vehicle Registration: Vehicle registration should only be a one-time occurrence at the point of sale.” This bill not only affirmed perpetual taxation but asks that we pay more to our corrupt transportation system, while it simultaneously sets up backroom deals with toll companies to make billions of dollars on the backs of Texans. For this reason, TFR opposed this bill and despite TFR sounding the alarm, HB 1698 went into effect on September 1st, 2021.

So who voted for this horrendous bill?

In the Texas House, the bill passed with 94 Yeas and 52 Nays.

State Representatives in contentious primary elections that voted in favor of increasing registration fees and taxing Texans more were:

Republican State Reps. Dustin Burrows (Lubbock), Kyle Kacal (College Station), John Raney (Bryan), and Glenn Rogers (Graford) as well as almost all House Democrat lawmakers

State Representatives that voted against raising taxes on Texans consisted of the majority of Republican House lawmakers, including taxpayer champions:

Republican State Reps. Bryan Slaton (Royse City), Matt Schaefer (Tyler), Briscoe Cain (Deer Park), (Tony Tinderholt (Arlington), Steve Toth (The Woodlands), Mayes Middleton (Galveston), and Jeff Cason (Bedford).

In the Texas Senate, the bill passed with all Senators voting Yea except for:

Republican State Sens. Paul Bettencourt (Houston), Bryan Hughes (Mineola), Angela Paxton (McKinney), and Drew Springer (Muenster).


Texas taxpayers should be aware of the tremendous resource made available to them in the Fiscal Responsibility Index. TFR spent hundreds of hours analyzing votes that your lawmakers take and we have condensed them into an easily understandable metric that is available for anyone to use. We recommend you look at how fiscally responsible your lawmaker is before casting your ballot in the upcoming primary election.

Stay tuned, additional spotlights to come!