Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (Again!)
By Toll Party Founder, Sal Costello
In 2001, a Proposition was put forward to the voters that allowed the Texas Mobility Fund. Texans voted for “mobility” and Prop 15 became a constitutional amendment. Only later we found out the wolf was in sheep’s clothing.
Prop 15 ballot language did NOT tell the voter that it was a fund that would allow our public highways to be privatized and tolled – for the first time in our country – so corporations can profit from what is ours. It failed to hint that TxDOT would toll roads and right of way that was already funded. It failed to tell the voter that a toll road costs 40-100% more than a free road. It did not tell the voter that TxDOT would use that power to blackmail regions across Texas to toll it’s public highways.
TODAY, the Prop 1 rail fund is the same voter trick as Prop 15 from 2001, except this time it’s about the public subsidizing rail.
Prop 1 allows an open ended corporate subsidy. Taxpayers will pay unlimited tax dollars to move private corporation rail lines into the Trans Texas Corridor after Gov. Perry promised no public funds would be used.
The state DEBT commitment would also be open-ended, with no limit on the amount of state bonds that could be issued from this new fund. By amending the Constitution to authorize the creation of this fund, the state will commit itself to massive debt for generations. Private corporations will profit from this taxpayer giveaway that help the controversial Trans Texas Corridor move forward. The railroad industry no longer is state-regulated, and state government should not involve itself in that industry’s investment decisions.
The ballot language does not advise the voter that it’s a special interest fund that the taxpayer pays for and private corporations profit from. It is a blank check and unlimited debt, say NO.
Proposition 9 allows unelected, unaccountable Tolling Authority board members extended term limits. Current 2 year term limits would expand to 6 years for Regional Mobility Authorities. These appointed people are allowed to privatize and toll our freeways – they will set the toll rates for roads we’ve already paid for.
A two-year term of office requires more frequent assessments of the board members job performance. Six-year terms are not necessary to carry out the functions of the authority since the staff or employees of an authority would do so regardless of the length of the directors’ terms.
Comptroller of Texas has reported the RMAs create “Double taxation without accountability”, and that the RMA’s loose management practices cost all Texans more. NOT surprisingly, Comptroller also found favoritism and self-enrichment as board members gave contracts (without bids) to their friends and their own companies. RMA boards should be required to abide by the standard provided in the Constitution that limits the terms of members of such boards to two years.
November 8th Constitutional Amendments: Vote NO on Prop 1 & 9:
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