Macias the right choice to keep tolls off FREEways
By Terri Hall
San Antonio Toll Party
The most politically radioactive issue in our community is toll roads, and there is no greater hero for the cause in Austin than my very own State Representative Nathan Macias. Macias is working to reverse the disastrous policy of turning FREEways into a network of toll roads where toll proponents want to charge us for every mile we drive in addition to gas taxes.
That’s why the San Antonio Toll Party is endorsing Nathan Macias. He adamantly opposes double tax toll roads that charge us twice for the same stretch of road, and he’ll continue to work to rein-in TxDOT that’s prone to $1 billion accounting errors and bloating their budget by $30 billion. Every freeway into and out of District 73 is slated to be tolled: Bandera Rd/SH-16, I-10, US 281, and I-35.
Representative Macias holds a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering and sits on the House Transportation Committee. He fought to keep public freeways from coming under the control of foreign companies by co-sponsoring a private toll moratorium bill that had teeth to it, HB 1892, which the Governor vetoed.
Macias then worked to defeat the counterfeit moratorium bill, SB 792, that opened the door to market-based tolls which Express-News columnist Jaime Castillo described this way: “If you want to raise funds for other projects, keep jacking up the toll price until drivers cry ‘uncle,’ and then back it off a penny or two” (Express News, July 22, 2007).
Macias also demanded accountability and open government by trying to defeat a provision allowing TxDOT to keep financial documents secret from the public.
Toll roads will cost the average family $2,000-$4,000 a year in new taxes to drive on what was once a freeway and will price commuters off our public freeways. This leaves those who cannot afford toll taxes with few alternatives to sitting in traffic. In fact, in many places, the only non-toll lanes will be access roads with stop lights and slower speed limits.
Studies have shown toll roads force more traffic onto our neighborhood streets making them more congested and less safe as accidents increase. This increased traffic on neighborhood streets will cost the City and County more money and could result in further tax increases to pay for it.
Even worse, those toll lanes are being subsidized with taxpayer money, lots of it, but you won’t be able to drive on those lanes without paying another tax, a toll tax, for every mile you drive. Road contractors stand to make four times the money off tollways compared to freeways. We need to re-elect Nathan Macias whose incorruptible character will put the people’s interests above special interests.