TxDOT can issue no more debt, talk of raising gas tax

In a stunning admission that the borrow and spend policies of Rick Perry have put Texas taxpayers in a deep debt hole, Senate Transportation Committee Chairman John Carona announced TxDOT can issue no more debt. They’ve maxed out the road building “credit card” so to speak. Perry has caused us to go from ZERO debt for roads to $12 billion in just over 5 years. Even worse, it appears this push for a gas tax increase is driven more by the interest in having more cash to pay down debt service as well as more cash to leverage yet MORE toll road debt.

In TxDOT’s latest budget, debt obligations entered into for toll roads far outpace estimated toll revenue. In this economy, it’s likely toll revenues aren’t meeting projections either. We’re in a world of hurt fiscally in Texas, yet the Governor touts Texas’ financial “health” as a basis for his re-election. There’s a crowded field of gubernatorial candidates that need to aggressively expose this financial house of cards that Rick Pery built for generations of Texans to pay-off to Perry’s cronies in the road lobby.

Link to article here.

Texas lawmakers consider higher fuel taxes

Associated Press

Nov. 11, 2009, 11:10AM

EL PASO — Some legislators concerned about how to pay for new highways in Texas suggested looking at increasing the 20 cents a gallon state fuel tax.

Members of the Texas Senate Transportation Committee, who convened in El Paso, said money is lacking to build new roads.

The chairman, Sen. John Carona of Dallas, said Tuesday that Texas is growing but having no money to build more roads and “no more debt that we can issue.”

Carona said the state fuel tax has been the same since 1991.

Texas charges 20 cents for each gallon of gasoline pumped. Motorists also pay about 18 cents a gallon in federal taxes.

Rep. Joe Pickett of El Paso says it’s too early to offer precise figures on how much the state fuel tax might need to be raised.

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Carona, Pickett to hold joint committee meetings

5:49 PM Tue, Nov 10, 2009 |  | 
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