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Legislature diverts another $1.6 BILLION away from roads, further starving the gas tax

Pat Driscoll nails it in this article. It sums up the long and short of our Legislature’s total failure to address fundamental solutions to our sweeping transportation problems in Texas. The diversion of yet another $1.6 BILLION (in addition to the $10 billion previously) away from transportation in the new budget demonstrates a complete betrayal of the Legislature’s fiduciary duty to fund our highway system properly with the taxes we already pay. Lest we forget the $14 billion surplus…the surplus coupled with the diversions, and the A&M study PROVE without a DOUBT there’s plenty of money for highways WITHOUT THE NEED TO TOLL A SINGLE ROAD.

We don’t need a new TAX on driving, what we need is a NEW Legislature…let the anti-incumbent drumbeat begin and let’s have it culminate at the ballot box! Potential candidates: start your engines, it’s time to throw the bums out!

Link to blog and story here.

Draining the highway fund
By Pat Driscoll
Express-News
July 09, 2007

State lawmakers did plenty of bellyaching about toll roads in the spring legislative session, yet curiously were bent on hamstringing transportation funding more than ever.

Draining more money from the highway fund and continuing to hobble the 20-cent a gallon gas tax, while at the same time clumsily trying to slow down private-sector toll projects, may sound like lip service to average Joes.

But lawmakers in the thick of a labyrinth of transportation bills last session put it this way: Legislators, collectively, are … well … stupid when it comes to tackling transportation woes.

See today’s story.

Compare current and upcoming highway fund diversions
See yearly diversions going back to their 1986 start

tax diversion.jpg


2 Responses to “Legislature diverts another $1.6 BILLION away from roads, further starving the gas tax”

  1. Esteban Erik Stipnieks Says:

    It is time we need to get Wentworth out. We need to clean Austin out lets give those who are responsible for the outrage a permanent vacation.

  2. Gary Stewart Says:

    Why is the city trying to place a neophyte in as a chair person of the MPO board? Not only is the state of Texas diverting gas tax money to programs that have nothing to do with transportation, it appears the city of San Antonio wants to implement toll roads so they can then collect further funds from the driving public which then can be diverted to the city council’s pet projects.

    Transportation and Telecommunications are the backbone of the economy. Telecommunications taxes are as much as 40% of the cost of communications, so I guess the state and the city have figured out that they can’t tax telecommunications any further. Now they want to start taxing transportation using the same underhanded and hidden method. It’s amazing to me that people talk of how the rising cost of gasoline is going to cripple the economy but the politicians believe the economy is immune to the increased cost of transportation from taxes and tolls.

    When tolls are put in essentially to pay for what should have been done years ago at a cheaper cost and when the taxes meant to pay for those facilities have been diverted to other non related projects, then tolls are not innovative new methods to pay for roads, they are simply new taxes.

    It has become apparent that politicians are incapable of providing solutions to problems The lack of adequate highway interchanges is definitely one of the greatest problems facing San Antonio, but the politicians just see the problem as another way to grab money.

    It will not end until all of our current elected officials have been replaced with people who love the city, state and country they live in and don’t think the word service is synonymous with self-promotion. To continually vote for the same politicians is like putting a sign in front of your house saying “Please Rob Here”

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