I am already getting emails from folks thinking it's now illegal for TxDOT to double tax drivers on our state highways. It's just not true. Don't believe the press they often get it wrong.
SEN. HUTCHISON'S BILL FAILS TO PROTECT TEXAS TAXPAYERS FROM DOUBLE TAXATION
AUSTIN – Texas’ senior Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R–TX) passed an amendment that claims to protect Texas taxpayers from tolling existing highways in Texas.
Hutchison is dancing in the end zone, but she’s failed to make a touch down. Sadly, Hutchison’s bill is full of loopholes. Her press release claims:
“Today we protected Texas taxpayers from paying twice for a highway,” Sen. Hutchison said. “I will continue pushing for a permanent prohibition of tolling existing highways.”
“Sadly, Hutchison’s claim, that her bill stops double taxation of our Texas highways is 100% hogwash. State highways are not covered at all. And, gaping loopholes allow TxDOT to go out today and build new toll lanes, all day long on our interstates - and they can build them with 100% of our tax dollars. That’s exactly what TxDOT is doing all over Texas with our state highways today. The double taxation scheme here in Central Texas includes a plan to spend $700 million of our tax dollars - intended for freeways - and spend those tax dollars to shift our freeways to toll ways. Hutchison’s bill fails to protect us, with too many loopholes for a rogue agency like TxDOT to exploit.“ People for Efficient Transportation founder, Sal Costello said.
Hutchison's release also misleads the press with this statement:
During the 80th session of the Texas Legislature the state House and Senate approved a measure that would place a two-year moratorium on building toll roads in Texas.
There is no such "Toll Freeze" legislation. Hutchison is referring to SB 792. The simple fact is that loophole filled moratorium doesn't stop any of the toll roads that are planned in the next 2 years. NOT ONE ROAD! THE TOLL ROADS PLANNED BY TXDOT ARE EXEMPTED.
TO PROVE MY POINT - Here is an AP Report called "Texas Authorizes More Than 80 Toll Road Projects" from just a few weeks ago.