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Friday, November 9, 2007

NTTA $3.3 Billion "Bonus" for S.H. 121 Contract to Be Paid By DRIVERS

As detailed in the November 9th article "NTTA to borrow $3.8 billion for 121" by Michael A. Lindenberger of the Dallas Morning News, we finally learn where the NTTA is getting the $3.3 billion Signing Bonus it promised if the state awarded the S.H. 121 project to NTTA instead of Cintra (the evil foreign competitor).

They're going to borrow it. And do you know how the NTTA is going to come up with the money to off the debt? THEY'RE RAISING THE TOLLS! That means that the "bonus" Collin and Denton Counties received from NTTA is actually a TAX on everyone who drives S.H. 121! It's not going to cost the NTTA a dime!

Meanwhile, when TxDot allocated transportation funds for the next fiscal year, Collin and Denton Counties got LESS from the General Transportation Fund then they would have because of the $3.3 Billion WINDFALL they were receiving from NTTA!

Adding insult to injury is the the $235,600,000 Bond issue for Collin County road construction local voters OVERWHELMINGLY approved which comes with the codicil that the Bonds would be paid for by "the levy of a tax in payment thereof"!

It's bad enough we have to PAY to drive on S.H. 121, the S.H. standing for State Highway (meaning the STATE pays for it), now we're going to pay 2.5 cents per mile MORE than under the Cintra deal. Additionally, instead of the rates being raised every 5 years, they will now be raised every 2 years!

So to summarize, Collin and Denton Country residents and people that drive through these counties will, instead of having a free State Highway paid of the Gas Tax Fund like it's supposed to be, will be paying an ever-rising toll....a toll that will much higher than if Cintra had gotten the contract.

At the same time, Collin Country residents will be paying the interest and principle on another $236 Million in bonds which should have come from the state transportation fund as well.

Meanwhile in Austin, the gas tax revenue continues to be plundered by legislators for other non-associated projects leaving no money to build roads. And what do you want to bet next year, there will be a Constitutional Amendment proposed to Raise the Gas Tax!

By the way, did I mention that NTTA just raised the tolls on the Dallas North Tollway and plans to do so again?

Let me leave you with three quick quotes from the article. You can read the whole sad story for yourself by clicking on the link above or picking up a copy of Nov 9th's Dallas Morning News:

  1. "To secure the financing for the upfront payment, the NTTA's board also approved a schedule of toll rates for Highway 121 that start higher and increase faster, than rates for area's other toll roads."
  2. "Beginning now, roads in North Texas and in most of the state's biggest cities will be built more quickly and more often - but at a much higher cost to those who use them."
  3. ""What a historic day!" NTTA board member James Base said, expressing a relief felt by man in the agency's Plano headquarters."
A historic day indeed.

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Mrs. Unloadingzone

Mrs. Unloadingzone
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