Against Toll Roads

RECEIVED Tue., Oct. 18, 2005

Dear Editor,
    Most Texans don't want toll roads. The Trans-Texas Toll Corridor is being pushed onto Texas families on Nov. 8 via Propositions 1 and 9. Unless voters get out and vote down these two propositions, generations of Texans will pay endless toll taxes.
    Proposition 1 establishes a fund through which taxpayers help pay for relocating freight rail lines from congested urban areas. Hailed as a needed safety measure and for easing traffic congestion in and around Texas cities, it adds new taxes under a GOP platform of "No New Taxes.” In addition, Proposition 1 includes no predefined funding or total cost and ties into the Trans-Texas Corridor plan.
    Proposition 9 was approved during the legislative session to increase the term for board members of a Regional Mobility Authority from two to six years. Texas Supreme Court declared the legislation unconstitutional; consequently, Proposition 9 is "an end around run" to ensure longer pro-toll memberships on RMA's.
    Gasoline taxes are supposed to be used for building and maintaining roadways. For the past decade the Texas gasoline tax rate has been frozen. A large part of collected gas taxes is diverted to higher-education institutions.
    Texas Department of Transportation is "sitting on" taxes paid by Texans. Instead of using those dollars, TxDOT was ordered by Rick Perry to find alternate "creative approaches" to finance roadways, Texas Toll Corridors. Proposition 9 is not in the best interests of most Texas families.
    Pro-toll advocates hope for small voter turnout and that majority of voters won't see the "veiled back-door" propositions for what they are – a lock-in on toll roads to push through future toll road legislation. Consequently, Texans must recognize the truth and vote-down Propositions 1 and 9 with a vengeance unless they want infinite open-ended toll road taxes for our childrens' children.
Jimmie Rivers
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