Governor-appointed Tolling Authority Chair Bill Thornton showed he and the toll-pushers have no clue the economic impact of their decisions and doesn’t care a stitch about anything other than taking more of YOUR money:
When a supporter asked him to be careful with our tax money before the debate started, Thornton’s response:
“I’m only interested in tolls, tolls, tolls.” (Guess what, Mr. Thornton? Tolls are a TAX!)
Then Thornton made his usual swipe at supporters in Spring Branch. Then our supporter said: “Don’t you think people in Spring Branch drive into San Antonio to go to work?”
“I don’t know.”
Then the supporter asked, well do you know how many folks in Spring Branch come into town to shop?
“I have no idea.”
Then during the debate Thornton actually said this when asked about a foreign company’s involvement in the toll rates:
“We don’t know who will set the toll rates.”
The Chairman of our tolling authority actually said he has no idea who will set the toll rates! Isn’t that his job?! Local control, my foot! Cintra is driving this train not our unelected tolling authorities nor our politicians. Does this give you the impression that Thornton not only doesn’t know anything, he doesn’t much care either? Doesn’t it seem mildly relevant to a “local” tolling authority to know how much sales tax and gas tax revenue Bexar County will lose if Bulverde and Spring Branch residents shop elsewhere or take alternate routes? Doesn’t that seem like an important factor to know: whether whatever they GAIN in toll revenues will be LOST in sales tax and gas tax revenues? As we said before, during, and after the debate, not one agency has studied the economic impact or repercussions of ANY proposed toll road and yet 70 miles are already in the plans for Bexar County!
The push for tolls has no relevant study or data driving it except this: to create a slush fund for roads. Our highways have been hijacked by the highway lobby!