Texas’ Toll Free Highways (TTH) has been busy educating lawmakers about the threats to our freedom to travel.
They are also getting the grassroots engaged and ready to get involved to protect the right to travel.
Tolls are most expensive option
It currently costs about one penny a mile to use a gas-tax funded road (closer to two cents when you add in state gasoline tax).
With the national average price of gasoline at $3.69 a gallon, increasing the gas tax is a non-starter with most politicians.
●In contrast, tolls cost between 10 cents a mile up to 95 cents a mile when the toll project is privatized in a public-private partnership.
● Tolls represent an explosion in the cost to travel and dwarf any increase in the gas tax.
● Congress and states looking for additional dollars are vulnerable to toll industry pressure to lift the ban on tolling existing interstates.
Here is TTH’s stated progress on their top priorities:
1) Remove the toll once the bond debt is paid. Rep. Matt Shaheen filed this bill just last week, HB 2325. We’re still looking for a Senate sponsor.
2) Cap the enormous fines and fees added onto toll bills and remove the criminal penalty for an unpaid toll bill.
(Senator Bob Hall filed it in the Senate, SB 316, and Rep. Brian Harrison has agreed to file it in the House). Rep. Bobby Guerra has also filed HB 2170 which has a provision that’s also in our bill that requires toll entities to immediately notify drivers if there’s a problem with their payment card (to avoid racking up unnecessary fines/fees). We’ve reached out to encourage him to co-sponsor our bill. If you’re in Rep. Guerra’s district, please encourage him to sign on!
3) Stop the anti-car mandates like the remote kill switch and ‘road diet’ being pushed by officials across Texas who seek to shrink and even remove your vehicle lanes to replace them with bike lanes, sidewalks, or green belts.
Rep. Bryan Slaton has filed our bill, HB 1031, to protect Texas drivers from vehicles with a remote kill switch.
Senator Lois Kolkhorst has drafted our road diet bill, and Senator Mayes Middleton has agreed to carry our kill switch bill as well as our Freedom to Drive Act, which includes protection from the kill switch, right to repair, right to own a fossil-fuel powered car, and right to travel in a vehicle powered by human decision-making. Rep. Nate Schatzline has agreed to carry it in the House.
“For anyone who thinks this isn’t a real thing, read this propaganda dressed up as a news story.”
“It’s clearly pushing an anti-car policy (eliminating parking lots and trying to get rid of free parking altogether) in the name of saving trees and building housing (except they seem to forget people need their cars to get from their houses to everywhere else they need to go).”
We don’t mess around…
“We’ve been to the capitol weekly, meeting with as many as 20 offices per day! Meetings include the Governor and Lt Governor‘s offices as well as with the staff of both Transportation Committee Chairs.”
“We’re making our way around to the other Transportation Committee members, especially the new ones. We’ve gotten commitments from many different lawmakers to carry our legislation, with several of our key bills still in the drafting phase. Bill filing deadline is March 10.”
Texans for Toll-free Highways (TTH) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to educate the public on our government’s new shift away from an affordable gas tax funded freeway system to an oppressively expensive system of toll roads as well as to hold our elected leaders and government officials accountable for their actions.
TTH defends taxpayers from the use of controversial financing methods called public-private partnerships (called Comprehensive Development Agreements or CDAs in Texas) and the eminent domain abuse inherent in such deals that involve confiscating private land to give to a private company for commercial gain.
IN GOD WE TRUST
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