By Terri Hall - T.U.R.F.
SB 792 ... unleashed an entirely new animal called "market valuation." This is Rick Perry's and the highway lobby's deceptive gimmick to make you think they can somehow apply free market competitive principles to government-run monopolies, aka - highways. Sounds great, right? Let's look inside. Our government tolling authority will now have URS, KPMG, and Citigroup determine how much profit the RMA can make by raiding YOUR wallet by charging you a toll tax to drive on what your taxes already built and paid for. Let's say the amount of profit over and above the cost of actually building the road is $4 billion. The RMA would then have to sell bonds to come up with that up front $4 billion fee that will then go into a TxDOT account to be used on roads elsewhere in the region. So the toll isn't a user tax (as we've contended all along). This translates into the HIGHEST POSSIBLE TOLL TAX, even Jaime Castillo of the Express-News agreed. So now your toll will cover the cost of construction AND the up front fee just as if Cintra were doing it!
It's the most elaborate Robin Hood scheme and unfair distribution of transportation taxation ever devised. ALL traditional turnpikes have been replaced by the "market-based" toll deception. How high is high, we're seeing rates as high a $1.50 a mile in Austin. The average is more like 40 cents a mile (compared with 1-3 cents a mile in gas taxes). Go to our toll tax calculator on the home page of our web site and calculate how many THOUSANDS in NEW TAXES you'll have to pay IN ADDITION to skyrocketing gas prices! Add to that, the Texas A&M Study last fall flat out stated WE DO NOT NEED TO TOLL A SINGLE ROAD. Yet, the Legislature failed to address the gas tax issue preferring instead to tap the vein (revenue stream) of commuters stuck in congestion. Folks, if you keep voting for the same recycled candidates and for politics as usual, we're going to keep getting fleeced. It doesn't matter how much tax money you give them, it'll NEVER BE ENOUGH! We need a revolution! VOTE THE BUMS OUT!
Here's the 19 who voted AGAINST this nonsense: Nathan Macias led the charge along with David Leibowitz, Lon Burnam, Joaquin Castro, Garnet Coleman, Joe Farias, Jessica Farrar, Stephen Frost, Ana Hernandez, Jodie Laubenberg, Trey Martinez Fischer, Ruth McClendon, Sid Miller, Ken Paxton, Robert Puente, Joe Straus, Senfronia Thompson, Marc Veasey, and Mike Villarreal.
Support them with your money not just your vote!
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