The Real Dirt on Toll Roads-Why Don't They Just *Toll* Us Another Story? Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


The Real Dirt on Toll Roads-Why Don't They Just *Toll* Us Another Story?

12 February 2007 at 3:15:34 PM

by Peter Stern of Dripping Springs

Too many elected officials, along with Texas residents, have bought into what the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has told them --- among other things --- that roads can be built more quickly only if they are toll roads, that there isn't enough taxpayer money to build and maintain roadways, that toll roads will decrease traffic and pollution, etc., etc.  Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), cities and legislators were told that if they did not approve the Central Texas Toll Plan, the deadline would be reached that would divert available financing to other areas that approve the plan.  These are all bogus "shock and awe" statements that lack credibility because there is no study that proves them.  To make matters worse, its an uneducated and facts-less mentality that is shared by too many people.
Here's the real poop on toll roads.  The bottom-line is that you can believe what you want to and so can our elected officials.  There is no doubt that many special interest individuals and groups will benefit financially from toll roads, from the governor on down-the-line.  There are many officials who have conflicts of interest and should NOT be permitted to hold offices that currently they are in and/or have held.  Furthermore, foreign companies (e.g., CINTRA) and domestic partners (e.g., Zachry Construction) will snatch up to 80-percent of off-the-top toll road revenues each year for the next 70 to 90 years.  Exactly how does THAT benefit Texas families?  How is that cost-effective?  How does THAT use taxpayer and toll tax dollars in the maximum benefit for the community at-large?
In response to many people's question: If there have been illegal activities by pro-toll advocates then why haven't there been lawsuits?  Well, there have been a few, but not enough.  However, that question is immaterial to the situation.  How many people in big business or political offices do questionable and/or illegal things but do not pay for their actions?  Proving things in court takes years; in fact, just getting a case to court takes years.  Furthermore, people in "high places" generally are above the law.
The fact that our own legislature has been able to circumvent the decision-making on school financing for the past decade should show you that our system is almost totally corrupt.  Texas homeowners have been paying illegal astronomical state property taxes for years.  Furthermore, with issues like voting machine integrity and voter fraud emerging more every day, do you really want to go with the pro-toll opinion that toll roads are the ONLY way to go WITHOUT REAL PROOF that toll roads are the only or best way to finance the building and maintenance of Texas roadways?  Do you want generations of Texas children and their families to pay an infinite toll tax, paying out millions to private companies for building, managing and operating toll roads and plazas?
While pro-toll enthusiasts are fond of stating that Texans will have a choice to drive on toll roads or not, that's just another bogus statement.  Texas families will pay toll taxes whether or NOT they drive on toll roads.  They'll pay toll taxes on goods and services they are charged for when businesses divert their own toll taxes/expenses onto their consumers.  No one addresses this issue.  An average Texas consumer WHO DOES NOT DRIVE ON TOLL ROADS will pay an estimated yearly toll tax at the register totaling thousands of dollars!!! 
Furthermore, gas taxes are supposed to pay for roadways and legislators prompted by the governor have frozen those taxes with no cost of living adjustments and they also have diverted some of the gas tax to other interests; implementing toll taxes will ensure a double tax on Texas roadways.
So, believe what you want to.  It's a no-brainer.  We need to vote-out lackluster special interest incumbents.  Toll taxation is a special interest power-play that honest hard-working individuals and families don't need, and neither do generations of Texas children!

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