Kay Bailey Hutchison gets it.. (toll roads) - DFWstangs Forums
 
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-15-2005, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Kay Bailey Hutchison gets it.. (toll roads)

As some of the Texans around here know, several localities in Texas have started turning roads, that were paid for with tax dollars, into toll roads. The ammounts to double taxation. I pay my fair share of the gasoline taxes in this state and so does everyone else.

Now I'm not against toll roads per say. They are a great idea. The North Dallas Tollway and George Bush Parkway are outstanding highways and worth the toll. But to take highway 121 (which has been paid for with our Tax dollars) and turn it into a toll road is simply wrong.

Step in one Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Right now the highway bill H.R. 3 is making its way through the Senate. Senator Hutchison has inserted this amendment:

In commitee, Senator Hutchison said:

Quote:
Mrs. HUTCHISON. Mr. President, this is an amendment that is going to try to take away the right of States to put tolls on interstate highways that have already been paid for and built by the taxpayers of our country. Recently, there has been a renewed interest in expanding opportunities to toll our Nation's interstate highway system. The interstate system was conceived and built with Federal tax dollars, so tolling interstates amounts to double taxation.

Today, I, along with Senators NELSON of Nebraska, SHELBY, BURNS, AND PRYOR, offer an amendment which simply repeals a provision from the previous highway bill, TEA-21, the Interstate System Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program, which is known as the interstate tolling program, which is fundamentally unfair to taxpayers.

I have said if local communities and States want to come together and build a toll road, they should be able to do it. In these situations, the taxpayers know what they are getting into. Many times a vote is required to issue bonds, but at any rate the taxpayers can hold the elected officials accountable. To allow unelected transportation officials to simply install a toll booth on facilities already paid for by Federal tax dollars is unacceptable.

Tolling existing highways will also increase the number of drivers on the free roads, resulting in greater congestion and more accidents. Studies show that drivers will choose to bypass the tolls by driving on local, small roads. We also know that tolls on existing interstates will produce substantial diversion of truck traffic to other roads, and our rural roads are not equipped to handle significant truck traffic.

In Ohio, traffic tripled on US-20 after toll increases on the Ohio Turnpike. Unfortunately, fatal accidents on US-20 are now 17 times more common than those on the turnpike. In response, Ohio's Department of Transportation decided to lower the tolls, even though the action did reduce the revenues for the State.

A recent study predicted that a 25-cent-per-mile toll on an interstate would cause nearly half the trucks to divert to other routes. This is an understandable economic decision for trucking companies considering that truckers' profit margins average 2 to 4 cents per mile and the rising price of gasoline has already affected profitability. Technology already exists to help truckers and other drivers evade tolls in a cost-effective manner. It does not make sense to invest in tolls that people will not pay.

Tolling interstates would reduce the safety of nearby local roads, degrade the quality of life in neighboring areas, and hurt the economy. Eighty percent of the Nation's goods travel by truck, and they will travel more slowly and expensively if tolls are imposed on interstates.

The Federal Government collects taxes to fund the Federal interstate highway system. The States should not have the right to come in and impose another tax via a toll. The idea of tolling Texas highways is more concerning to me because the Federal highway program has treated my home State pretty poorly. Texas is the single largest donor State over the program's 50 years of history. We have the most highway miles of any State and our drivers have contributed billions to other States to enable them to build their portion of the Federal highway network.

In this bill, we will get a 91-cent return. It is better than the previous 5 years, but I am going to continue to work for parity. I have always defended States rights, but the flexibility to toll interstates has a clear effect on interstate commerce and fundamental fairness. If Arkansas, for example, decided to toll I-40, all deliveries coming into or out of Texas on I-40 would be subject to that toll. In effect, Texas businesses and citizens would be taxed for using that highway. As a donor State, our taxes have already helped to finance it. So it is clear from the studies that tolling an interstate will shift traffic to other roads and potentially to other States.

These States would not share in the toll revenue but would bear the brunt of the costs for more accidents on their roads, more traffic, pollution, and added highway maintenance and expansion costs. I cannot support a program which could shift new traffic and related burdens to our State and others.

The underlying SAFETEA bill establishes a commission to explore alternative sources of transportation revenue. The commission should be allowed to complete its work before we start experimenting with tolls or any other alternative.

At the request of Senator Warner, we have modified the amendment to limit the interstate tolling program to the Commonwealth of Virginia. The senior Senator from Virginia and the State's congressional delegation have been working with Virginia's Department of Transportation for more than 3 years on the I-81 project. Virginia is the only State with an active application pending before the U.S. Department of Transportation. While I disagree with implementing this program, I am willing to defer to Senator Warner on the need to allow Virginia to finish its application and have therefore agreed to this modification.

I am going to defer to the Senator from Nebraska, who is one of the cosponsors of the bill. I hope we will be able to pass this amendment. It is very important that the taxpayers of America know they are going to have the opportunity to use this interstate system their tax dollars for 50 years have gone to build.

The purpose of having an interstate system was so we would have seamless transportation into all of our States and it is very important we keep those highways that have already been built free highways for the citizens who have already paid for them. I urge the support of my colleagues.
This has been inserted as amendment S.AMDT 617 to H.R.3. You can read more here:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/...BDBG1D:e51766:



I don't know about the rest of you Texans, but Hutchison just went to the top of my list to be our next Govenor.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-15-2005, 12:40 PM
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-15-2005, 02:51 PM
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"I don't know about the rest of you Texans, but Hutchison just went to the top of my list to be our next Govenor."
Why would you take her out of a job where she can actually do all of us some good . Govenors in Texas can't do much.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-15-2005, 02:58 PM
 
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Good on Kay Baily! Her and our comptroller should run with each other! Tired of our current Governor. I live in Fort Worth, but I am so damn tired of that Mayor over their as well!
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-15-2005, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyro
"I don't know about the rest of you Texans, but Hutchison just went to the top of my list to be our next Govenor."
Why would you take her out of a job where she can actually do all of us some good . Govenors in Texas can't do much.

Because Rick Perry is a Fuckin' MORON!

Our next Governor had better be Kinky, Strayhorn, or Hutchison. Perry doesn't have an balls, brains, or spine for the job. He is the first politician I truly regret voting for. What a dipshit.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-15-2005, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt Beavis
Rick Perry is a Fuckin' MORON!
Yep.

If they toll 121 i'll never use it. I've been getting by not using it for some number of years now due to congestion anyway. I've figured that it would cost me about $8-10/day in tolls to use 121 to drive to my office in euless, in addition to the $20 a day I already use in gas. Screw that.

I'd vote for Kay.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-15-2005, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeb
Yep.

If they toll 121 i'll never use it. I've been getting by not using it for some number of years now due to congestion anyway. I've figured that it would cost me about $8-10/day in tolls to use 121 to drive to my office in euless, in addition to the $20 a day I already use in gas. Screw that.

I'd vote for Kay.
Yea, that was the biggest crock of BS I had heard in a while when they announced that. Our gasoline tax dollars had already paid for that road.

If the amendment survives, not only will they not be able to put a toll on 121, but the assholes in the Austin city councel will have to remove all those toll booths from existing roads and Laura Miller will take it up her ass because she won't be able to create a toll lane on I-30....

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-15-2005, 08:30 PM
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Lets see what the "Toll Commission" wants to add Booths to

Proposed Toll Roads in Dallas/Ft. Worth

183 From I820 to I35 (Dallas). They are going to widen 183 and after they are done, they want to make it a Toll Road.

I30 From Arlington to Down Town Dallas. (They are widening it so they want to make it a Toll Road AGAIN).

121 From I35 to like North East Dallas.

I35N From I635 to Denton.

360 (From 183 to Grapevine).

I just think its B.S. we pay taxes for roads then they want to add tolls to them. I have no problems if the "TOLL COMISSION" builds the roads to be toll roads, but not the Texas DOT.

Sure if they want to make 161 a Toll Road, go for it. If they want to do the River Bottoms Toll Road, go for it. BUT not all the public roads just because your going to widen it.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-24-2005, 03:15 PM
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Hate to say it, but "we" voted for it...HB 20 or something in 2004? Allowing TXDOT to impose tolls/taxes whenever it wants. I voted against it, personally, but it passed.

It truly is double/triple taxation. Tax with gas and tax with your annual registration fee for those roads. Now another tax to drive on an already paid for road.

What amazes me is that didn't The Colony vote for a toll on 121? WTH?? Gee...its nice to live in a city where the only major highway to get on you have to pay to drive on.

You think gas is high now? Wait till the tolls are passed on to you at the pump as well as any other good that comes into the metroplex.

Idiot politicians.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 11:50 AM
 
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I arrived in Texas after the vote..but galdang...If there is a petition out there I will put my name on it for sure!
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 12:03 PM
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you know perry is queer, right? his wife caught him in the governor's mansion with another dude. how can you be a pickle smoker, and want to ban gay weddings? dude, talk about fucking your constituency. . .

Give me a dollar.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gimmeabeer
you know perry is queer, right? his wife caught him in the governor's mansion with another dude. how can you be a pickle smoker, and want to ban gay weddings? dude, talk about fucking your constituency. . .
I can't find anything to substantiate this. Just a bunch of rumors from what I read...
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 12:57 PM
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The biggest problem I have with toll roads is that they aren't ever free. Look how long the Dallas Tollway has been in existence. 30 years. It has been paid for many times over. Go look at the financials for the Toll Authority that manages these roads in Texas. They have millions in cash and debt, just like any coporation. Why does the Authority need to hold onto millions in cash again??? If the state is so strapped to fund these road projects, why is that money sitting there??

Toll roads are just another source of income for an ever growing government. It will never get smaller because when it gets extra money it expands.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 01:04 PM
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Did you see the article in the paper where Kay Bailey keeps a gun by her bedside. She thinks
every woman should be able to protect her house and kids. That got my vote.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AL P
The biggest problem I have with toll roads is that they aren't ever free. Look how long the Dallas Tollway has been in existence. 30 years. It has been paid for many times over. Go look at the financials for the Toll Authority that manages these roads in Texas. They have millions in cash and debt, just like any coporation. Why does the Authority need to hold onto millions in cash again??? If the state is so strapped to fund these road projects, why is that money sitting there??

Toll roads are just another source of income for an ever growing government. It will never get smaller because when it gets extra money it expands.
This is true Al, but even then, the Dallas Tollway wasn't built with taxpayer money. It was built from the tolls. Even though it's paid for, it still needs maintenance. Any even though there is a profit made (though I'd like to know what that profit is used for) I still don't have a problem with it because my tax dollars didn't pay for it.

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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-26-2005, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt Beavis
This is true Al, but even then, the Dallas Tollway wasn't built with taxpayer money. It was built from the tolls. Even though it's paid for, it still needs maintenance. Any even though there is a profit made (though I'd like to know what that profit is used for) I still don't have a problem with it because my tax dollars didn't pay for it.
A good point. Actually it was built with bonds that are being repaid by tolls. The Dallas North Tollway consists of the north-south tollway from downtown to 380 and George Bush from 183 to wherever the hell it ends in Rockwall. Total tolls collected in 2003 = close to $150 million. Total cost to "operate" all this shit $42 million. Thats not the debt service fund or the capital improvements fund, those are seperate, this is the fund to operate the damn thing. $42 million is a lot of money to "operate" a highway. Then they have those investments I spoke of earlier.

What pisses me off is that once you build a toll road it relieves the state of any sort of responsibility to build a highway. Then the money that would HAVE to be used to build a free road is sent off to fund some other baloney and never comes back. Then when you need a road all you hear about is some fuckface talking about building a new tollroad.

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