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Legislators in Austin and Washington are questioning a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) plan to enact a federal law allowing the state agency to “buy back” interstate highways and then convert them to toll roads.
The plan was first introduced by TxDOT? in a February “Forward Momentum” report.
U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said Friday she will file a bill preventing such a plan.
“I intend to immediately introduce as free-standing legislation my amendment that the Senate passed in 2005 to specifically prohibit states from tolling existing interstate highways,” said Hutchison in a press statement.
Tuesday, Texas senators and representatives called the plan “ridiculous” and said they are losing confidence in TxDOT, suggesting the department is in need of legislative oversight.
TxDOT and Senator Kirk Watson are now pushing a double tax toll scheme that shifts freeways in Central Texas to tollways.
The Watson/TxDOT toll plan also diverts $700 million tax dollars - intended for free roads - into toll roads. It is important to note that freeways have NEVER been shifted to tollways in the history of our country.
Conventional toll roads across the country have always been built on new land with investor dollars (after the public expressways had been built) so drivers have a choice between the public highway or the toll road. They are taking what is ours to charge us forever, as the tolls will never be removed even after the road has been paid for 100 times over.
Read more about it here:
Sal "The Muckraker" Costello
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