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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Rep. Ken Paxton Brags That North Texas Drivers will be Taxed to Death by the NTTA

The Following is an email I received from my State Representative bragging of his latest achievement. Below his email is the response I sent back to him...not that it will make a difference, but his email REALLY.......annoyed me.

Subject: Capitol Steps - Rep. Ken Paxton
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 17:33:16 -0500

August 24, 2007

Ken Paxton

State Representative

District 70



Today, the Texas Transportation Commission authorized the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to enter into a project agreement with the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) for the development, financing, design, construction, maintenance and operation of State Highway 121 from McKinney to Coppell for the next 50 years.

This project covers 25.9 miles of all-electronic toll road that will soon run along State Highway 121 through Collin, Dallas and Denton Counties starting where State Highway 121 (S.H. 121) intersects with North Central Expressway (U.S. Highway 75) and traveling almost to the Tarrant County line. The agreement is subject to environmental clearances, which should be granted by September 2007.

As part of the agreement, NTTA will provide upfront payments totaling over $3.3 billion to TxDOT to fund regional transportation projects. The Regional Transportation Council will consider each of these projects and has already received proposals from cities and counties in North Texas.

Several months ago, the decision to grant the S.H. 121 project to a Spanish company was made.?However, during the past legislative session, members of the Texas State Legislature voiced concern over granting this project to a foreign company and acted with legislation that led to keeping this project and the revenue generated from this project in our local, North Texas community.

***************** HERE IS THE RESPONSE I SENT HIM ******************************

Dear Mr. Paxton,

You talk about the money NTTA will pay up front: what about all the money Frisco and the other affected towns paid for 121's right of way.....with my tax dollars? Is NTTA going to refund that money to us?

What about all the sections of 121 which were supposed to remain "free" so drivers wouldn't be FORCED to pay a toll to enter towns like Frisco and The Colony?

Doesn't "Tollway" i.e. Dallas North Tollway mean the driver pays a toll to maintain it and "State Highway" i.e. State Highway 121 mean the State of Texas maintains it? Are you going to rename S.H. 121? How about the President George W. Bush Tollway? It's no more confusing than U.S. 35E and U.S.35W, both going north and south.

Why is it all the toll plazas are in affluent areas? When you drive onto the Toll Way at the beginning, there is only 1 high-dollar toll until you reach Addison. Then there's another one right up the road at Parker. Now 121 from Coppell through Frisco/Plano through to Mckinney, all higher income areas, are having to pay AGAIN for the road they already paid for. Why aren't any of the road improvements in South Dallas being funded by turning them into toll roads?

I noted your political double-speak when, in discussing the upfront money NTTA would pay, said "The Regional Transportation Council will consider each of these projects and has already received proposals from cities and counties in North Texas." TRANSLATION: the RTC will TAKE PROPOSALS from North Texas but there is NO GUARANTEE that ANY of the money would be used to FUND the North Texas proposals! And why should they? There aren't any free roads left up here anyway.

By the way, what outrageous sum is it going to cost to travel the 29.5 miles? I notice you left that out of your press release. Please let me know so I can start cutting back on food and clothing to pay for my commute.

Maybe if we didn't throw the gas tax revenue into the general fund we wouldn't have to do this. Maybe, while TX ranks at the bottom in education, having Middle Schools building $3MM Football Stadiums and schools which look nicer than most high-tech malls is not putting the emphasis in the right place. You brag how you took the contract away from a Spanish company and gave it to NTTA....what about our students failing in school because Austin is forcing teachers to waste time with bilingual education....why are we educating illegal aliens in the first place?

Never have I seen a state bend over backwards for any other ethnic group and waste more money, talent, time, and our children's lives the way Texas caters to Hispanics. Why aren't we teaching Japanese, Chinese, Hindi, Indian, and all the other immigrant languages in school? Why are the Hispanics so special? Why do we reward them for not joining the melting pot that used to be America. Why don't they have to assimilate like my ancestors did? And you wonder why Texas ranks at or near the bottom in terms of education. We don't teach knowledge anymore..we teach to tests: available in Spanish too of course.

I still don't know why 121 which has been free forever has to suddenly become a 29.5 mile long cash machine.....I'm surprised you didn't throw in the catch-all answer to any tax issue: "It's for the Children".

I do know that we pay an 8.25% sales tax, the cigarette tax was raised a dollar a pack, my house was re-appraised raising it's worth by $24K which more than offset the so-called property tax relief the Governor is so proud of; and this during the most depressed housing market since 1991. I know that I can barely now, and will soon be unable to travel to and from work without having my toll tag raped every day or adding an hour to my commute; I know the business franchise tax was raised (that will attract new business to the state), but hey, we don't have a state income tax so everything is great.

Mr. Paxton, Austin, and Frisco for that matter, have their priorities backwards, are spending money like they own a printing press, and no one in authority is taking a stand against it. A budget surplus means that we have been overtaxed, not that the state did a great thing. Government is not supposed to be a for-profit business. You say in your email that NTTA will maintain 121 for 50 years like they're doing us a favor or we cut a great deal. THE DRIVERS on 121 will be paying through the nose for the next 50 years to maintain 121. NTTA will make a handsome profit which they will spend on lobbyists, unnecessary Executives (probably relatives of elected officials), and non-toll roads in other parts of the state because THEIR representative cut a deal for their constituents. It's all about pork, backroom deals, and the good-old-boy network.

I'm sorry, Mr. Paxton, but thanks for nothing. You have failed us. North Texas is having it's pocket picked and you put out a press release as though it was some great achievement. Where have all the fiscal conservatives gone? In Washington, in Austin, and in Frisco, they have all failed us. And that includes you.


Mr Unloadingzone

FOOTNOTE: At the bottom of the press release was the following Town Hall Meeting notification. Notice who is hosting it. I feel like throwing up.

Please Join Representative Ken Paxton for a Town Hall Meeting


8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

TPC at Craig Ranch - (8000 Collin McKinney Parkway; McKinney, Texas 75070)

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Mrs. Unloadingzone

Mrs. Unloadingzone
"The Girl of my Dreams"