Tag Archives: Texas Department of Transportation

Texas Lawmakers Clash with State Toll Bureaucracies Over Cap on Toll Fines

Governor Greg Abbott decidedly departed from Perry’s policies and tapped the brakes on toll roads, most notably killing 15 new toll projects last fall. The majority of lawmakers have feverishly responded to constituents’ complaints about the costs to drive toll … Continue reading

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

Precedent Set as Tolls Come off Two Texas Highways

No one should be charged a toll to use a road that’s paid for, otherwise it’s double taxation. The move to remove tolls once a road’s debt is retired is one of several recommendations that came out of the interim … Continue reading

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

Secret Agreement Handed Private Toll Firm Control of Texas Public Roads

While the politicians argued that eminent domain would only be used as a last resort, that’s just the club the Texas Turnpike Corporation’s CEO John Crew needs to beat landowners into submission to sign over their land in so-called negotiated … Continue reading

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

Report: TxDOT not ready to handle influx of new road funds

Texans deserve better than they’ve been getting for their multi-billion dollar investments in TxDOT. The legislature and Sunset must engage in constant oversight and a shorter review timeframe. While some progress has been made, TxDOT has a long way to … Continue reading

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

Sparks fly as Texas senators discover numerous toll roads with no debt, prompts call to remove tolls

Many Texans are paying upwards of $300 a month in tolls just to drive to work. Since the privatized toll road projects opened, one has gone bankrupt, SH 130 (segments 5 & 6), and two in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex use dynamic or ‘congestion pricing’ (where the toll is based on the level of congestion) to soak the traveling public, charging up to $50 a day in tolls. Over a dozen Texas toll road projects were built with state and federal funds, no debt is owed, and yet officials charge tolls simply to profit off of congestion and use it as a means to control people and traffic. Continue reading

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

Anti-Toll Movement in Texas Comes Under Attack

Tolling existing free lanes should be off the table in the Lone Star State that claims to be the beacon of freedom and boasts of a low tax burden. Tolling the main lanes of a highway and downgrading the free option to frontage roads is highway robbery and a means to force drivers to pay tolls to get anywhere. Texas taxpayers are adamant that this abuse come to an end. Continue reading

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

Texas State Rep. Kolkhorst asks for AG legal opinion on use of gas tax revenue to subsidize more toll roads – seeks clarity over Prop 15

As voters overwhelmingly embrace a move away from toll roads with the election of anti-toll Greg Abbott as the new Texas Governor there remains an open question about whether or not the voters approved the use of the state gasoline tax, and any other money available to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), for toll roads when they approved Proposition 15 back in 2001. Some state leaders believe the voters approved the use of gas taxes to build toll roads with passage of Prop 15, but the ballot language never mentions a word about gas taxes nor all funds available to TxDOT being used for toll roads – which constitute a double tax.

Continue reading

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

Anti-toll candidates sweep key races in Texas

Abbott will get two new appointees to the Transportation Commission right out of the gate in February. Together with the current Commissioner, Victor Vandergriff, who’s been an outspoken critic of the agency’s practices and ill-conceived toll projects, Abbott will have a majority…

Continue reading

Posted in News and Analysis, Taxation, 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”…

Continue reading

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

Houston toll agency surrenders control to TxDOT

An out of control Texas Department of Transportation has discovered how to self-fund its agency with unlimited taxation through tolls. Texas taxpayers have had little luck controlling TxDOT and its lust for toll roads, so this notion that handing TxDOT control will mean more free highway lanes just won’t materialize.

Continue reading

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

Tea Party Victories in Texas Elections Support Anti-toll Movement

Under Dewhurst’s leadership, Texans experienced a massive shift away from an affordable gas- tax-funded freeway system to a reliance on tolling. The Perry-Dewhurst regime brought us the Trans-Texas Corridor, quick-take eminent domain, tolling existing freeways, handing our public roads to private toll corporations who charge Texans 95 cents a mile to drive, and using gas taxes and a host of public money to subsidize and guarantee the loans on toll roads. They took Texas from zero debt for roads to now the highest road debt in the nation at $31 billion.

Continue reading

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

Texas House to end 80-yr raid of gas taxes

Stop using road money (paid for by motorists) for transit, rail, and bike paths that motorists don’t use. That goes for diverting both federal and state gas tax revenues. The Texas Mobility Fund is being used to build street cars, toll roads, and dredge our ports, when it should be used to fix our freeways and keep them toll-free. Adopting a transportation policy of ‘pay-as-you-go’ would be more fiscally responsible.

Continue reading

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

Toll tyranny and social engineering in local transportation policy

San Antonio’s proposal smacks of the European-style congestion tax imposed on downtown London, Stockholm and Milan, which carries serious implications for environmentally targeted cities all across America. Continue reading

Posted in Sovereignty, Transportation, United Nations 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.

Continue reading

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

Texas downgrades foreign-owned toll road to junk bond status

Hate to say it, but we told you so.

Continue reading

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

Texas: Downgrading paved roads to gravel and planning license plate surveillance cameras

It’s dog eat dog as the fight over scarce road money gets uglier in Texas. At a recent Senate Select Committee on Transportation Funding hearing, the Senate Transportation Committee Chair Robert Nichols took issue with DeWitt County Judge Daryl Fowler’s comments that urban areas of the state are ‘pillaging’ road funds he believes are largely being provided by rural areas where the oil shale boom has swelled the state’s coffers of oil and gas severance taxes to windfall levels.

Continue reading

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

RFID Spy Chips: Toll Tags & Tracking Drivers

Radio Frequency (RFID) readers are not limited to toll roads. One driver tweaked his toll tag to make a sound go off every time it’s detected and picked-up by an RFID reader. He discovered it went off all over the … Continue reading

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

Lawmaker to TxDOT: Time to say ‘We made a mistake’

They stepped in it and now the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is on the fast track to smoothing things over with local governments across the state. Rep. Joe Pickett (D – El Paso) didn’t parse words at the August 29 Transportation Commission meeting: the agency has had a series of missteps that are upsetting people and it’s time for the Department to own up to it, say ‘we made a mistake,’ and start to make amends.

Continue reading

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

Third Time’s the Charm: Texas Lawmakers Finally Pass Transportation Funding Bill

It’s a wrap. After over 200 days in session this year, the Texas legislature finally agreed upon a transportation funding bill that will go to the voters for approval in November 2014. The Constitutional amendment would divert half of the oil and gas severance tax that funds the state’s emergency fund, or Rainy Day Fund, to roads, giving the highway department a potential boost of $1.2 billion annually. Lawmakers readily acknowledge it’s a stop gap measure since the agency needs $4 billion more per year.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation Tagged , , , |

Agenda 21 hits San Antonio: The War on Cars continues with US 281 toll plan

Antonio, Texas, is no exception. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (RMA) are proposing to convert existing freeway lanes on Highway 281 into Transit-High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes in what can only be seen as Agenda 21-style government social engineering to tax people out of their cars and into mass transit or a carpool.

Continue reading

Posted in Transportation, Uncategorized, United Nations Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Focal Point Texas: The Coming Trade Tsunami and the Greater Push Toward Globalization

The eighth annual Texas Transportation Forum hosted by the Texas Transportation Institute and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recently held in Austin had all eyes on the future – the future of international trade in light of the anticipated Panama Canal expansion, the future of road funding, and even the future of driving (like driverless cars).

Continue reading

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