Tag Archives: public-private partnerships

Will Highways Become Obsolete?

Technology’s rapidly changing landscape will transform the way we travel in the next decade, much less the next half century. Sure as the sun rises, private innovators like Elon Musk will ensure outmoded travel will be obsolete in the near … Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Tolling, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , |

Trump Pulls the Plug on Private Toll Roads, Centerpiece of Infrastructure Plan

Trump’s reversal on public-private partnerships (P3s) came suddenly to most folks, even inside the beltway, given that Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao was still pushing tax incentives to attract private investment as the core of the Trump infrastructure plan as of … Continue reading

Posted in Globalization, Mike Pence, News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Tolling, Transportation, Transportation Issues, Trump Presidency Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

A Track Record of Toll Road Failures at Taxpayers Expense: Putting Wall Street Over Main Street

The Build America Bureau, an arm of the federal government, is also a 34 percent owner in the new deal, as a move to placate the expected taxpayer backlash for having the taxpayers’ original federal loan wiped out by the … Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Transportation, Uncategorized Tagged , , , , , |

Trump Floats Gas Tax Increase After Cold Reception to Privatized Toll Roads

Whether Trump will be successful in raising the federal gasoline tax may depend on his connection to his voters. Polls indicate his base of support remains strong despite the relentless attacks on Trump by the press. If Trump can demonstrate … Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Toll Roads, Transportation Issues Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Former Clinton HUD Secretary Calls for More Tolls and Federal Gas Tax Index

Neither public-private partnerships (P3s) nor Interstate tolling must ever be imposed on American roads. The reason Eisenhower’s Interstate highways were an economic boon to America was the ease of connectivity and the natural economic development that occurred alongside them such … Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Tolling, Transportation Issues Tagged , , , , |

Texas’ first foreign-owned toll road handed to creditors

The best solution moving forward is to build freeways not tollways and to ensure that taxpayers get these bankrupt projects back in the hands of the public. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , |

Spain-based Cintra’s SH-130 Toll Road, First and Only Leg of Trans-Texas Corridor, Goes Bankrupt

When it opened back in 2012, SH 130 had long been the poster child of Rick Perry’s failed toll road policies. At one point, the state-operated part of the tollway was so empty a distressed plane landed on it during peak hours. Lawmakers saddled Texas taxpayers with billions in debt and they hid it from the normal, open, public budgetary process. In other words, Texas lawmakers have balanced the budget, in part, because they have issued billions of taxpayer backed subsidies for private toll road companies, while hiding the costs from taxpayers and increasing costs and risks for taxpayers in the long term. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , |

Congress quietly moves NAFTA superhighway corridors forward in FAST Act

Such NAFTA international trade has all but destroyed the American manufacturing base, it threatens U.S. jobs and has contributed to stagnant wages since its inception in 1992. So the funding and expansion of the NAFTA trade corridors coupled with the porous southern border create another source of angst for American voters as they weigh the current presidential contenders. Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Sovereignty, Trade & Economics, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Texas High Speed Rail Collides with Private Property Rights

Texas Rail Advocates and two student leaders from Sam Houston University favor the project and spoke against the bill. Even when reminded that this bill only addresses the use of eminent domain by a private company and wasn’t a general prohibition on high speed rail, opponents maintained their position. Texas Central Railway (TCR) acknowledged that without eminent domain, it could deep six the project. TCR could still seek eminent domain authority from the federal government, but Senator Lois Kolkhorst was adamant that the State of Texas, where property rights are held… Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Private Property Rights, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Texas Proposition 1 road funding ballot measure raises doubts, as oil production drops

The euphoria lawmakers felt last year after placing a Constitutional amendment on the ballot for Texas voters to decide if they wanted to raid half of the state’s oil and gas severance tax on new oil wells and divert those revenues to the State Highway Fund, without ending existing diversions of the gasoline tax…

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Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Libertarians Can’t Leave Their Love of Toll Roads

It is bewildering that so many on the right, particularly normally fiscally prudent libertarians, continue to advocate for toll roads. In fact, some are even criticizing conservatives who oppose them. Terri Hall, founder of the group TURF (Texans United for Reform and Freedom), found herself under fire by a libertarian magazine in August. Reason’s Robert Poole wrote an article labeling Hall and those who oppose toll roads as “right-wing populists.” He was worried that Hall has been effective ginning up opposition to toll roads, both in her home state of Texas as well as influencing a prominent article that recently ran in The Weekly Standard.

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Posted in News and Analysis, Private Property Rights, Taxation, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

Proposed Blacklands Tollway Near Dallas, Texas Fuels Public Distrust

The people have spoken and their will is clear – they do NOT want the proposed private Blackland Tollway-Northeast Gateway Corridor through Rockwall to Greenville counties in east Dallas. A record capacity crowd of nearly 1,500 showed up to get their opposition to the controversial toll project on the record. Landowners and concerned citizens voiced their opinions to the Texas Turnpike Corporation (TTC) and the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) at a public meeting held in Rockwall that lasted until after midnight.

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Posted in News and Analysis, Private Property Rights, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

Conservatives introduce “TEA” highway bill that scraps federal program, but pushes tolls, P3s, & transit boondoggles

While Graves, Lee and Rubio may believe they’re offloading their federal gas tax revenue problem to the states, in reality, they’re seeking to compound the problem 50-fold; the states aren’t any better than the feds on transportation funding. We should not be encouraging more tolling of any kind, whether at the federal or state level. Tolls are a tax. The principle of “pay-as-you-go”…

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Posted in Homepage Column Two Row Three, News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Abbott promises to fix Texas roads without tolls

That about sums up both the political and literal reality for Texans in most metropolitan areas of the state. Neither Congress nor the Texas legislature have addressed the structural road funding shortfall for the last decade, both turning to toll roads and massive debt financing to kick the can down the road. But Texas is now facing a fiscal cliff – it leads the country in road debt and it’s maxed out its proverbial credit card. The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) says it needs $4 billion more per year just to keep pace with congestion. Even worse, its $10 billion annual budget will experience an additional gaping $2-3 billion hole in 2015 as the borrowing that’s been propping up its budget disappears.

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Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , |

Not toll viable: San Antonio tea party senator betrays grassroots

Citizens have no legal recourse to stop the vehicle registration fee money from being used to build toll roads since the law Senator Donna Campbell crafted has no prohibition on the money being used to fund toll projects. There’s also … Continue reading

Posted in Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

TxDOT proposes elevated toll lanes over Interstate Highway 35

When a local San Antonio TV reporter goes on a rant over a toll lane proposal, you know the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has hit a nerve. TxDOT is proposing to add two elevated toll lanes on Interstate 35 each direction from Loop 410 in Bexar County to Schertz in Comal County, approximately 15 miles.

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Posted in Sovereignty, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Texas downgrades foreign-owned toll road to junk bond status

Hate to say it, but we told you so.

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Posted in Sovereignty, Taxation, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

NAFTA Superhighway Underway in Northeast Indiana: Multinational Operators Vie for I-69

Close on the heels of news that Interstate 69 (I-69) is underway in Texas, the Indiana Finance Authority and highway department (INDOT) has selected four private developers to submit proposals for a public-private partnership (P3) on segment 5 of I-69 from Bloomington to Martinsville. The final selection is expected this fall.

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Posted in Immigration & Border Security, Sovereignty, Taxation, Trade & Economics, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Tolling Texans by ‘rule change’: TxDOT’s end run around the legislature

Question: How do you know when a public agency is out of control? Answer: It tries to bypass the legitimate branch of government, in this case the Texas legislature, to make an administrative ‘rule change’ instead.

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Posted in Sovereignty, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Gateway to globalization: Texas toll roads, reinvestment zones and trade corridors

Despite high hopes that lawmakers would address the chronic road funding shortfall at the outset of the 83rd session of the Texas legislature, Texas taxpayers only saw $534 million of $1.2 billion in diversions of gas tax revenues returned to roads (for the next two years) with a reliance on more toll roads to fill the remaining $4 billion annual funding gap. That’s only one-eighth of the money needed.

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Posted in Trade & Economics, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Texas red herring: ‘Availability payments’ are public-private partnerships

The Texas legislature is considering another ‘tool in the toolbox’ to build roads, without the controversial concession public-private partnership (P3) model, called ‘availability payments.’ House bill 3650 by Rep. Linda Harper-Brown opens the door to this type of P3, where the private sector pays for the road and gets paid back as money is ‘available.’

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Texas lawmakers vote to sell-off state roads to private corporations

The Texas House joined the Senate in voting for SB 1730 to hand 20 Texas highways to private corporations in controversial contracts called public-private partnerships (P3s) or comprehensive development agreements (CDAs), despite public opposition.

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Posted in Private Property Rights, Sovereignty, Taxation, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Tea Party Texans say ‘No’ to more tolls, debt and taxes

Texans from across the state recently converged at the capitol in Austin to stress the need for Texas Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, and House and Senate budget writers to prevent the most fiscally sound, long-term road funding solutions from being held hostage to more tolls, debt, and tax hikes.

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Posted in Taxation, Trade & Economics, Transportation Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Virginia’s Governor McDonnell gets devoured for massive transportation tax hikes

Houston, we have a problem. Well, actually, it’s a nationwide problem. Gas tax, the primary user fee that funds our national Interstate Highway System, hasn’t been raised in 20 years. The same is true for the gas tax in most states, where gas tax is the primary source of revenue to fund each state’s highway system.

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