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MikeRichardson

North Texas lawmaker introduces bill to end tolls on toll roads after they are paid off

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https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/86R/billtext/pdf/HB00436I.pdf#navpanes=0 (also attached to the thread)

 

News coverage:

 

http://www.fox4news.com/news/north-texas-lawmaker-introduces-bill-to-end-tolls-on-toll-roads-after-they-are-paid-off

https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/a-new-bill-could-make-toll-roads-free-in-texas

https://abc13.com/politics/is-this-the-end-of-toll-roads-in-texas/5152215/

 

First question: Does this even apply to the "authorities" - HCTRA, MCTRA, et. al? Or just the State Toll Roads?

 

How would they manage to unwind HCTRA's incredibly convoluted accounting (merging all the roads into a "pooled project" at a county commissioners meeting that took place only a week after 9/11).

HB00436I.pdf

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Does that mean the State is going to fund the maintenance for the toll road after they are paid off? Didn't think so. Don't like toll roads? Don't use them. I don't mind paying ongoing tolls - roads have to be paid for one way or another.

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On 2/23/2019 at 8:33 PM, Ross said:

Does that mean the State is going to fund the maintenance for the toll road after they are paid off? Didn't think so. Don't like toll roads? Don't use them. I don't mind paying ongoing tolls - roads have to be paid for one way or another.

 

I actually prefer toll roads because there are a lot of people not willing to pay for them... so while people are sitting in traffic on the nearby freeway, I can zip on by. **hi hardy and katy toll road**

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Doesn’t matter, taxpayers are still going to pay for the road maintenance one way or the other. Just another ploy disguised as a “good thing” by Texas Republicans at the state level attempting to further erode local level entities, i.e. city/county. 

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If you don't increase the gas tax this means taking away billions in funding capacity for future highway projects as the State would be required to fund the ongoing maintenance for toll roads.


The idea of toll roads being "paid off" after 30 year revenue bonds are paid off is rather ridiculous unless you don't intend on maintaining them.

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14 hours ago, mattyt36 said:

If you don't increase the gas tax this means taking away billions in funding capacity for future highway projects as the State would be required to fund the ongoing maintenance for toll roads.


The idea of toll roads being "paid off" after 30 year revenue bonds are paid off is rather ridiculous unless you don't intend on maintaining them.

 

I think too many people don't realize this. the gas tax hasn't changed, and it has been a very long time since the gas tax has been on par with road maintenance of the existing highways in the system. introducing more highways into the system to be maintained would be disastrous. 

 

if you don't want tollways you should lobby for higher gas taxes, it's that simple.

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Keep the tolls AND add a penny-per-mile annual surcharge to all Texas cars. When your vehicle is inspected, your mileage is checked and you're sent a bill based on how many miles you have driven that year. Drive 20,000 miles a year? You pay an extra $200 to the state.

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I fully support a per mile tax, but I think it should be variable based on the weight of the vehicle.

 

the heavier a vehicle, the more damage it does to the roads.

 

make it a multiplier of your penny per mile. 

< 3000lbs = 1x multiplier

3001 - 4000lbs = 1.2x multiplier

4001 - 5000lbs = 1.5x multiplier

5001 - 6000lbs = 2x multiplier

> 6001lbs = 3x multiplier

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2 hours ago, samagon said:

I fully support a per mile tax, but I think it should be variable based on the weight of the vehicle.

 

the heavier a vehicle, the more damage it does to the roads.

 

make it a multiplier of your penny per mile. 

< 3000lbs = 1x multiplier

3001 - 4000lbs = 1.2x multiplier

4001 - 5000lbs = 1.5x multiplier

5001 - 6000lbs = 2x multiplier

> 6001lbs = 3x multiplier

 

I can't argue with that. It's a use tax that doesn't really penalize anyone unfairly.

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3 hours ago, samagon said:

I fully support a per mile tax, but I think it should be variable based on the weight of the vehicle.

 

the heavier a vehicle, the more damage it does to the roads.

 

make it a multiplier of your penny per mile. 

< 3000lbs = 1x multiplier

3001 - 4000lbs = 1.2x multiplier

4001 - 5000lbs = 1.5x multiplier

5001 - 6000lbs = 2x multiplier

> 6001lbs = 3x multiplier

 

I don’t see how implementing a completely new tax is plausible. There will be a TON of pushback. This is Texas, after all.

 

Revisiting the gas tax at the federal level would be more feasible and accomplish the same goal—the heavier the vehicle, the more fuel you use (generally) and the more tax paid.

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14 hours ago, thedistrict84 said:

 

I don’t see how implementing a completely new tax is plausible. There will be a TON of pushback. This is Texas, after all.

 

Revisiting the gas tax at the federal level would be more feasible and accomplish the same goal—the heavier the vehicle, the more fuel you use (generally) and the more tax paid.

 

the problem isn't today. as electric cars continue to play a bigger role in our transportation needs, the gasoline tax just won't cut it as a solution.

 

you've already got cars that even today are operating on roads that they pay no gas tax to maintain. while it's not a high volume of cars now, it will increase, and they will eventually make a substantial impact. how are new roads going to be funded, and how are old roads going to be maintained?

 

everyone should know and accept that this will be a problem, so being proactive and fixing it now, rather than waiting until it's too late is the best way.

 

I do agree with you, nothing will be done. after all, we've been woefully behind on gas taxes collected vs cost for new roads/maintenance of existing roads and not one politician has the spine to even raise gas taxes to compensate.

 

here's a timely article:

https://theconversation.com/how-electric-cars-could-make-americas-crumbling-roads-even-worse-112341

Edited by samagon

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I don't like paying tolls so I avoid them when I can. I've found they don't usually save that much time at peak hours, so not worth the cost for me. Plus, I had been using them more, so had a toll tag, and then when I stopped using them, still had the toll tag "just in case" (and probably had about $30 in the account at the time) but hadn't used a toll road in three years, so the credit card on my account had expired, when one day I got a notice that HCTRA had tried to charge my CC and got it declined. There was no reason they should have been trying to, so I was suspicious of them after that, another reason to avoid toll roads. Then hearing about all the people getting debt collectors after them for over $1,000 dollars in fines and fees for $25 in missed tolls, HCTRA just seemed like a bunch of crooks to me.

 

I get that HCTRA initially advertised the Sam Houston would be "free", once paid off, and that was a mistake, but that was 30+ years ago, the people still holding onto that need to let go of it (although maybe it would help if people at the County wouldn't deny that this was ever advertised, like Ed Emmett, who wasn't even here at the time, did. Just admit a mistake was made and explain the reason for tolls still being needed). I'd like to see toll roads remain toll roads, but/and a portion of the revenue generated by them be diverted to workable mass transit solutions. I'd much rather pay money to sit on a train than in my own car.

Edited by Reefmonkey

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On 2/26/2019 at 7:29 AM, samagon said:

 

I think too many people don't realize this. the gas tax hasn't changed, and it has been a very long time since the gas tax has been on par with road maintenance of the existing highways in the system. introducing more highways into the system to be maintained would be disastrous. 

 

if you don't want tollways you should lobby for higher gas taxes, it's that simple.

 

Agree.

 

This is why I'm fine tolling Highways. The people that use them the most should be the ones that foot the bill. There's no reason to put a collective cost on everyone else that doesn't use them as often if at all.

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Posted (edited)
On 2/27/2019 at 11:50 AM, Reefmonkey said:

 

 

I get that HCTRA initially advertised the Sam Houston would be "free", once paid off, and that was a mistake, but that was 30+ years ago, the people still holding onto that need to let go of it (although maybe it would help if people at the County wouldn't deny that this was ever advertised, like Ed Emmett, who wasn't even here at the time, did. Just admit a mistake was made and explain the reason for tolls still being needed). I'd like to see toll roads remain toll roads, but/and a portion of the revenue generated by them be diverted to workable mass transit solutions. I'd much rather pay money to sit on a train than in my own car.

 

As far as I can tell, they never actually made such claims.  I have seen zero evidence of such advertisements by the County/HCTRA.  Surely someone would have been able to dig one up by now if they actually existed.

Edited by Houston19514

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Posted (edited)

Every HCTRA financial statement going back as far as I have found, contains a variation of the following statement:

 

Quote

When all of the debt service, as discussed in Note 7, has been paid or provided for in a trust fund, the Toll Roads will become a part of the State of Texas Highway System.

 

It is important to note that it does NOT say that the roads will be made free. However, I would rather drive on a state toll road than a HCTRA toll road.

 

I think it's also extremely obvious that HCTRA has been manipulating their financials to ensure that the debt service is NEVER paid off. HCTRA has over $1 billion in "Total Cash & Investments". They even have investments made in school faclities in Arizona, a water authority in Georgia, $15 million in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey! Why is HCTRA not using this massive war chest to pay off their bonds instead?

 

It also pisses me off that they continue to deny having printed the above pamphlet and even deny the statement in their own financial documents. I am currently looking for a high quality scan of the pamphlet. I am also curious as to what TV news may have reported back in the 80's.

 

Source: https://hctra.co/financials/ (HCTRA has removed older financial reports, I have made them available again at hctra.co).

Edited by MikeRichardson
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On 2/25/2019 at 10:49 AM, Triton said:

 

I actually prefer toll roads because there are a lot of people not willing to pay for them... so while people are sitting in traffic on the nearby freeway, I can zip on by. **hi hardy and katy toll road**

 

 

I prefer the state highway "Beltway 8" (aka the feeder) on the weekend when I go to visit my mom. Using the toll road would cost me $9 every weekend and would not save that much time. This only works if I don't have to wait more than one cycle at any light, though.

 

I work from home though, don't have to commute for that.

 

I don't understand the people who do not have toll tags who use the toll road. You lose all the time savings waiting in that line to pay the toll. You would save time and money just sticking to the free state highway right next to the toll road.

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3 minutes ago, MikeRichardson said:

Every HCTRA financial statement going back as far as I have found, contains a variation of the following statement:

 

 

It is important to note that it does NOT say that the roads will be made free. However, I would rather drive on a state toll road than a HCTRA toll road.

 

I think it's also extremely obvious that HCTRA has been manipulating their financials to ensure that the debt service is NEVER paid off. HCTRA has over $1 billion in "Total Cash & Investments". They even have investments made in school faclities in Arizona, a water authority in Georgia. Why is HCTRA not using this massive war chest to pay off their bonds instead?

 

It also pisses me off that they continue to deny having printed the above pamphlet and even deny the statement in their own financial documents. I am currently looking for a high quality scan of the pamphlet. I am also curious as to what TV news may have reported back in the 80's.

 

Source: https://hctra.co/financials/ (HCTRA has removed older financial reports, I have made them available again at hctra.co).

 

The "investments" you refer to are common to many local government cash pools.

 

And please extrapolate on "manipulating their financials."  HCTRA has issued debt regularly since the Hardy Toll Road was opened to build new tollways and expand and improve existing ones.  That shouldn't come as a surprise.  NTTA is no different, and the DNT was built in the 1960s.

 

Finally can you explain the difference between driving on a state-owned toll road and a County-owned one?

 

I don't think you know what you're talking about.

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2 minutes ago, mattyt36 said:

 

The "investments" you refer to are common to many local government cash pools.

 

And please extrapolate on "manipulating their financials."  HCTRA has issued debt regularly since the Hardy Toll Road was opened to build new tollways and expand and improve existing ones.  That shouldn't come as a surprise.  NTTA is no different, and the DNT was built in the 1960s.

 

Finally can you explain the difference between driving on a state-owned toll road and a County-owned one?

 

I don't think you know what you're talking about.

 

Why should HCTRA have any business making investments when they themselves owe over $2 billion on bonds. These are investments specifically allocated to HCTRA.

 

HCTRA would not need to issue so much debt if they weren't buying debt from freaking New York and New Jersey! That in and of it's self is a form of manipulation - so that the debt service is never paid off. It's also why HCTRA is so aggressive about pursuing new toll roads that nobody even asked for. There's dozens of projects that HCTRA has attempted to start or get it's hands into, fortunately most of these have failed.

 

The difference between driving on a state toll road vs a HCTRA road, is that you are not supporting the HCTRA entity, which I am no big fan of.

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1 hour ago, MikeRichardson said:

 

Why should HCTRA have any business making investments when they themselves owe over $2 billion on bonds. These are investments specifically allocated to HCTRA.

 

HCTRA would not need to issue so much debt if they weren't buying debt from freaking New York and New Jersey! That in and of it's self is a form of manipulation - so that the debt service is never paid off. It's also why HCTRA is so aggressive about pursuing new toll roads that nobody even asked for. There's dozens of projects that HCTRA has attempted to start or get it's hands into, fortunately most of these have failed.

 

The difference between driving on a state toll road vs a HCTRA road, is that you are not supporting the HCTRA entity, which I am no big fan of.

 

Suspicions confirmed.

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1 hour ago, MikeRichardson said:

 

Why should HCTRA have any business making investments when they themselves owe over $2 billion on bonds. These are investments specifically allocated to HCTRA.

 

HCTRA would not need to issue so much debt if they weren't buying debt from freaking New York and New Jersey! That in and of it's self is a form of manipulation - so that the debt service is never paid off. It's also why HCTRA is so aggressive about pursuing new toll roads that nobody even asked for. There's dozens of projects that HCTRA has attempted to start or get it's hands into, fortunately most of these have failed.

 

The difference between driving on a state toll road vs a HCTRA road, is that you are not supporting the HCTRA entity, which I am no big fan of.

HCTRA has cash available for a number of reasons, much like I have cash, even though I owe money on my house. If you don't have cash, you can't operate. The bond covenants require cash be available. Excess cash is invested in a wide variety of things. Nothing on HCTRA's financials looks suspicious to me. The advantage I presumably have over you is my accounting degree and 30 years of looking at financial statements. 

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2 hours ago, Ross said:

HCTRA has cash available for a number of reasons, much like I have cash, even though I owe money on my house. If you don't have cash, you can't operate. The bond covenants require cash be available. Excess cash is invested in a wide variety of things. Nothing on HCTRA's financials looks suspicious to me. The advantage I presumably have over you is my accounting degree and 30 years of looking at financial statements. 

 

It's not necessarily suspicious, but no doubt the decision makers at HCTRA don't want it to go away so of course they will be inclined to invest excess money instead of paying down debt.  Organizations have self-preservation instincts, too.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/8/2019 at 11:48 AM, Houston19514 said:

 

As far as I can tell, they never actually made such claims.  I have seen zero evidence of such advertisements by the County/HCTRA.  Surely someone would have been able to dig one up by now if they actually existed.

 So now thanks to august948 you have seen the evidence and know that they did actually exist. Maybe you weren’t alive yet and/or living in Harris County at the time (like Ed Emmett wasn’t) but a lot of us were and remember full well the advertisements ABC13 was able to dig up. The claims that the toll roads would be free were widely made at the time to sell the public on the ballot initiative. 

Edited by Reefmonkey

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Reefmonkey said:

 So now thanks to august948 you have seen the evidence and know that they did actually exist. Maybe you weren’t alive yet and/or living in Harris County at the time (like Ed Emmett wasn’t) but a lot of us were and remember full well the advertisements ABC13 was able to dig up. The claims that the toll roads would be free were widely made at the time to sell the public on the ballot initiative. 

 

A few things to note:

 

The "pamphlet" was from a Wayne Dolcefino production.  I don't trust him. 

It was supposedly "discovered" in the basement of some unidentified downtown building - there is no evidence it was ever actually mailed to anyone.

As far as I remember, Wayne never even identified who supposedly wrote/produced the pamphlet and it is folded and photographed so that we cannot read the return address.

The supposedly quoted and highlighted words superimposed on the front by Wayne's team (and taken out of context)... I cannot find them in the text of the pamphlet that we can see. Maybe they were really there... maybe not.  Perhaps in context they mean what he purports them to mean; perhaps not.  Why not show us the context?

Most important of all... Read the opening paragraph of the pamphlet:  It was written AFTER the vote.

 

Again, if this claim was so widely made at the time in order to sell the public on the ballot initiative, surely someone could come up with some evidence

Edited by Houston19514
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So your response is:

 

1. You don't trust Wayne Dolcefino for some unspecified reason, enough so that you're willing to imply he manufactured a pamphlet, and claimed he got it from the county's public archives, where anyone else could go in and verify if it was there

2. You're claiming even if the pamphlet is authentic, since it was written after the vote, it means nothing...because it makes total sense that the county would wait until AFTER an election to make a campaign promise it didn't intend to keep.

 

I'm curious, were you living in Harris County in 1983, and were you old enough to read and watch the news? I was, and I and many other county residents from that time remember the publicity campaign and the promises made. This was pre-internet, a lot of stuff from before 1995 hasn't been preserved for easy retrieval. But you're continuing to hang your hat on the fallacy of absence of evidence being evidence of absence even when we now have evidence.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Reefmonkey said:

So your response is:

 

1. You don't trust Wayne Dolcefino for some unspecified reason, enough so that you're willing to imply he manufactured a pamphlet, and claimed he got it from the county's public archives, where anyone else could go in and verify if it was there

2. You're claiming even if the pamphlet is authentic, since it was written after the vote, it means nothing...because it makes total sense that the county would wait until AFTER an election to make a campaign promise it didn't intend to keep.

 

I'm curious, were you living in Harris County in 1983, and were you old enough to read and watch the news? I was, and I and many other county residents from that time remember the publicity campaign and the promises made. This was pre-internet, a lot of stuff from before 1995 hasn't been preserved for easy retrieval. But you're continuing to hang your hat on the fallacy of absence of evidence being evidence of absence even when we now have evidence.

 

We do NOT have evidence and, again, if the claim was as widely-made as you are claiming, evidence should be abundant and pretty easy to find, for any reporter looking for the truth. 

 

There were two daily newspapers in Houston at the time. Surely at least one of them ran articles and editorials (likely including guest editorials) about the issue. They probably even had some paid advertising leading up to the vote.

 

A reporter looking for the truth could spend time at the public library poring over newspaper archives, rather than pretending that a post-vote pamphlet proves the voters were promised, prior to the vote, that the tollways would be free when paid off, and pretending that a columnists statement about a Dallas tollway is even relevant.

 

Edited by Houston19514

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Posted (edited)

So all of the longtime Harris County residents who remember a publicity campaign promising Sam Houston would be free once paid off are suffering a Mandela Effect mass delusion that just happens to exactly echo the language of a brochure published by HCTRA around the time? You're the one suffering from a delusion if you believe that. It doesn't matter that the brochure was published after the vote, it is still HCTRA saying that the tollway would become free, and if they said it right after the vote, there is a very strong likelihood they said it before the vote, too. If you think that's not evidence, you have a very faulty understanding of what evidence actually is.You can keep going on and on about "there should be articles and editorials", (I've looked but Chronicle's online archives only go back to 1985 - maybe that's a reason why editorials from 1983 are hard to come by) but all that is required is one piece of evidence, when it says exactly what I am claiming, and it was published by the organization I claim said it, and that is what we have. I don't know why you are so stubbornly insisting "they never said that" in the face of a brochure published by them where they said it, but you are grasping. At. Straws.

Edited by Reefmonkey

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Reefmonkey said:

So all of the longtime Harris County residents who remember a publicity campaign promising Sam Houston would be free once paid off are suffering a Mandela Effect mass delusion that just happens to exactly echo the language of a brochure published by HCTRA around the time? You're the one suffering from a delusion if you believe that. It doesn't matter that the brochure was published after the vote, it is still HCTRA saying that the tollway would become free, and if they said it right after the vote, there is a very strong likelihood they said it before the vote, too. If you think that's not evidence, you have a very faulty understanding of what evidence actually is.You can keep going on and on about "there should be articles and editorials", (I've looked by Chronicle's online archives only go back to 1985 - maybe that's a reason why editorials from 1983 are hard to come by) but all that is required is one piece of evidence, when it says exactly what I am claiming, and it was published by the organization I claim said it, and that is what we have. I don't know why you are so stubbornly insisting "they never said that" in the face of a brochure published by them where they said it, but you are grasping. At. Straws.

 

There are indeed many occasions where a myth can take hold among a large group of people. I don't have an explanation for it, but dishonest reports such as that Channel 13 report certainly fed this one.

 

Do we know that it is an HCTRA brochure?  You're taking Wayne Dolcefino's word for it because he presented in a way that we can't see for sure. Why would he do that? He could have easily shown the whole thing.

 

Do we know that brochure even says what he claims?  No, again, we have to take his word for it. He presented it in a way that we can't even confirm that those words are there, let alone the context. Why would he do that?  He could have easily shown where in the brochure the language came from and shown the context. The full quote in context might have been "You may have heard some people claim they were told that when the toll roads combined have covered their costs, the roads will become free public highways.  Neither the county nor HCTRA has ever made such a promise."

 

You say the brochure was published "right after the vote."  I don't think we have any indication of when it was published, except that it was apparently before construction of the Hardy Toll Road.

 

I understand the online archives only go to 1985.  is it really so much to ask a reporter, especially for one whose job is investigative journalism, to go the library and look through some microfiche?

 

You are taking a lot on faith to claim this brochure is evidence of how the toll roads were sold to the public.

 

I do not claim to know for certain, but it strikes me as exceedingly odd that not a shred of pre-vote material showing this claimed promise has been unearthed. If the claims were being widely made, they are right there in the newspaper archives waiting to be found.

 

Edited by Houston19514

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So now you're accusing a reporter who was a winner of 25 local Emmys for investigative reporting, an Edward R Murrow Award, 3 medals from the Investigative Reporters and Editors Association, and 5 awards from the Texas Headliners Foundation of fabricating written source and releasing it - without any evidence to back up your assertion, mind you, just your "feeling". You're bordering on libelous behavior here. You believe what you want to believe, I'm going to believe what I remember, and yes, I am going to believe Wayne Dolcefino's reporting over your "feeling."

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9 minutes ago, Reefmonkey said:

So now you're accusing a reporter who was a winner of 25 local Emmys for investigative reporting, an Edward R Murrow Award, 3 medals from the Investigative Reporters and Editors Association, and 5 awards from the Texas Headliners Foundation of fabricating written source and releasing it - without any evidence to back up your assertion, mind you, just your "feeling". You're bordering on libelous behavior here. You believe what you want to believe, I'm going to believe what I remember, and yes, I am going to believe Wayne Dolcefino's reporting over your "feeling."

 

For the record, I didn't say anything about my "feelings".  I am very much evidence and fact-based. When someone produces some pre-vote evidence of the toll road "promise", I'll happily reassess.

 

If you have a chance, ask Mayor Turner about Wayne Dolcefino's reporting.

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You mean Turner's libel lawsuit that was overturned on appeal and the appeal upheld by the Texas Supreme Court?

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On 2/26/2019 at 7:00 AM, gmac said:

Keep the tolls AND add a penny-per-mile annual surcharge to all Texas cars. When your vehicle is inspected, your mileage is checked and you're sent a bill based on how many miles you have driven that year. Drive 20,000 miles a year? You pay an extra $200 to the state.

 

And how would the state prove that all 200 of those miles was done within the State of Texas? I don't think this plan would work. I am in favor of increasing the gas tax. An extra 5-10 cents won't break the bank. The last toll road in this stat to convert after the tolls were paid off was I-30 in DFW. I thank the DFW lawmakers for bringing this forward. If tollroads were promised to turn into free roads after being paid off, then they should. Economics change, which is why the gas tax needs to go up. It'd probably help to alleviate some traffic on certain freeways (45), but it'll definitely lead to an increase in use overall. If the West Beltway traffic is bad now, imagine if it were "free".

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3 hours ago, Trae said:

 

And how would the state prove that all 200 of those miles was done within the State of Texas? I don't think this plan would work. I am in favor of increasing the gas tax. An extra 5-10 cents won't break the bank. The last toll road in this stat to convert after the tolls were paid off was I-30 in DFW. I thank the DFW lawmakers for bringing this forward. If tollroads were promised to turn into free roads after being paid off, then they should. Economics change, which is why the gas tax needs to go up. It'd probably help to alleviate some traffic on certain freeways (45), but it'll definitely lead to an increase in use overall. If the West Beltway traffic is bad now, imagine if it were "free".

 

Your plan is no good once the electric car movement gains momentum. Then how do we charge people? Those vehicles don't use gas, but they certainly use the roads. Per-mile charges are forward-looking. If you drive a lot of miles out of state, oh well.

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, gmac said:

 

Your plan is no good once the electric car movement gains momentum. Then how do we charge people? Those vehicles don't use gas, but they certainly use the roads. Per-mile charges are forward-looking. If you drive a lot of miles out of state, oh well.

 

You can charge for electricity at whatever future "supercharger" stations that get built. You can impose higher taxes on electric vehicles at purchase. But you definitely can't just say "oh well" when someone drives x amount of miles out of state but has to pay Texas taxes on it. Those are lawsuits waiting to happen.

Edited by Trae
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7 hours ago, Trae said:

 

You can charge for electricity at whatever future "supercharger" stations that get built. You can impose higher taxes on electric vehicles at purchase. But you definitely can't just say "oh well" when someone drives x amount of miles out of state but has to pay Texas taxes on it. Those are lawsuits waiting to happen.

And all the driver has to do is prove how many miles were driven out of state. No different than the record keeping required to prove business use of a vehicle.

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In states that you have an income tax, is income from out of state taxable?

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Trae said:

 

You can charge for electricity at whatever future "supercharger" stations that get built. You can impose higher taxes on electric vehicles at purchase. But you definitely can't just say "oh well" when someone drives x amount of miles out of state but has to pay Texas taxes on it. Those are lawsuits waiting to happen.

 

I have, to date, never been credited for gasoline I purchased in this state and then used in a different state.

 

For that matter, 99% of the driving I do these days is not on roads maintained by the state. Should I be paying any tax at all on the gasoline I use? 

 

The majority of charging of electric vehicles, even in the future when you can charge your car in under 5 minutes, is still going to be done at the home. How would you see those taxes collected?

Edited by samagon
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Clearly, as we go into the electric car future, the funds for road maintenance and construction will become untied from a specific tax.  Taxes and fees of all sorts will be raised.  Early adopters will get a break on their overall taxes until the government catches up and raises fees on electric service, registrations, perhaps sales or property taxes.  It will come from somewhere, don't doubt it.

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6 hours ago, samagon said:

 

I have, to date, never been credited for gasoline I purchased in this state and then used in a different state.

 

For that matter, 99% of the driving I do these days is not on roads maintained by the state. Should I be paying any tax at all on the gasoline I use? 

 

The majority of charging of electric vehicles, even in the future when you can charge your car in under 5 minutes, is still going to be done at the home. How would you see those taxes collected?

Should childless couples pay school district taxes even though they don't have kids? You're never going to have a catch all situation. Besides, your example is not really similar. At least you are paying for that state's gas tax if you do buy gas there and when you drive in Texas, you'll eventually buy gas here too (and hey, maybe you drove a few miles in the other state with Texas gas, unless you crossed state lines on empty). Meanwhile, miles driven is much harder to capture, especially if you live close to a bordering state. Someone in Beaumont going to New Orleans will have only driven 60ish of those 400+ miles in Texas, yet be charged as if they drove all of it in Texas? How would you want them to prove they drove those miles out of state?

 

And your last sentence is very easy... you just charge more for electric use at that home. If everyone is going to use more electricity, then the cost of using it will for sure go up especially in the summertime. Charging at one of those Tesla-like stations would be cheaper and faster, and then you go home. And supercharger stations will definitely charge faster than a plug at home will.

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17 hours ago, gmac said:

 

Your plan is no good once the electric car movement gains momentum. Then how do we charge people? Those vehicles don't use gas, but they certainly use the roads. Per-mile charges are forward-looking. If you drive a lot of miles out of state, oh well.

 

6 hours ago, samagon said:

 

I have, to date, never been credited for gasoline I purchased in this state and then used in a different state.

 

For that matter, 99% of the driving I do these days is not on roads maintained by the state. Should I be paying any tax at all on the gasoline I use? 

 

The majority of charging of electric vehicles, even in the future when you can charge your car in under 5 minutes, is still going to be done at the home. How would you see those taxes collected?

Well, just brainstorming here, electric vehicles require special

 charging equipment, even at home, right? And the electricity for that equipment is coming through your meter. Maybe require people with charging stations to get an extra meter and have the power company add on the state electric vehicle per-kilowatt tax to your bill, and then send that money to the state like utilities have to do with all the other taxes they have to collect?

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1 minute ago, Reefmonkey said:

 

Well, just brainstorming here, electric vehicles require special

 charging equipment, even at home, right? And the electricity for that equipment is coming through your meter. Maybe require people with charging stations to get an extra meter and have the power company add on the state electric vehicle per-kilowatt tax to your bill, and then send that money to the state like utilities have to do with all the other taxes they have to collect?

 

Yep this is how it would go.

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On 2/23/2019 at 4:21 PM, MikeRichardson said:

https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/86R/billtext/pdf/HB00436I.pdf#navpanes=0 (also attached to the thread)

 

News coverage:

 

http://www.fox4news.com/news/north-texas-lawmaker-introduces-bill-to-end-tolls-on-toll-roads-after-they-are-paid-off

 

"North Texas lawmaker introduces bill to end tolls on toll roads after they are paid off." 

 

That's a rather unfortunate title by Fox 4 News. I saw the title of this thread and immediately my mind jumped to some politician being indicted for being bribed. Oops! my mistake...

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On 3/12/2019 at 5:00 PM, Reefmonkey said:

 

Well, just brainstorming here, electric vehicles require special

 charging equipment, even at home, right? And the electricity for that equipment is coming through your meter. Maybe require people with charging stations to get an extra meter and have the power company add on the state electric vehicle per-kilowatt tax to your bill, and then send that money to the state like utilities have to do with all the other taxes they have to collect?

 

 

they do not require anything special.

 

for home use, most car chargers run off 220, some even run off 110. no special equipment necessary. simply plug into the required outlet.

 

fast charge stations are out there, but they are uncommon to be in people's homes, as they require specialized hardware, and service.

 

https://www.energysage.com/electric-vehicles/charging-your-ev/install-a-home-charging-station/

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