Wentworth does an aboutface on tolling existing highways

Senator Jeff Wentworth’s Push Poll

Those in Senator Wentworth’s 25th District should have received his “survey” by mail. If so, note his leading questions on transportation:
1) In order to reduce congestion on our public highways, do you favor an increase in gasoline taxes of up to 50 cents per gallon to fund new highway construction?
2) In order to reduce congestion on our public highways, do you favor the construction of new highways to be paid for by tolls?

Reply to his “survey” with the facts in the comments section or in the form of a letter. If you’re a constituent and haven’t received one, contact his office and ask for one: (210) 826-7800 or email.

Many of you have already emailed us about this. Certainly his questions aren’t questions, rather they try to lead the reader to a foregone conclusion. Hence, a push poll. First of all, his office confirmed that he has no basis in fact as to the 50 cent a gallon gas tax hike. Apparently, TxDOT told him it would be a $1.00 a gallon gas tax hike! He thought that sounded too high so he put 50 cents instead. So much for a rationale, data, or facts driving these figures!

TxDOT nor Senator Wentworth can substantiate EITHER of these figures. They’re scare tactics. Even with a 50 cent per gallon gas tax hike, do the math. The average San Antonian buys about 1500 gallons of gas a year. The state gas tax is 20 cents per gallon. That would equal $300 a year. A 50 cent hike would equal $750 a year. TxDOT claims they need 5 times more money for highways ($1.00 a gallon MORE)! But let’s indulge them and assume these outrageous figures are true…that’s still less money than a lifetime of toll tax. TxDOT’s own online survey conducted by Survey Cafe quoted 29 cents a mile for a 20 mile commute on 1604. That’s $5.90 ONE WAY to work and over $3,000 a year in toll taxes.

Hmmm, give the voter this choice…stick with the gas tax system that can’t be raised without agreement of the entire legislature and signed into law by the Governor, or hand the authority to enact a whole new driving tax over to an unelected tolling board allowing them to broker secret 50 year sweetheart deals with private foreign companies to raise toll rates as high as they wish and I think the answer is obvious!

Here’s the zinger. Check out Wentworth’s own words from his own press release back in 2003…

“I am opposed to converting existing public highways into toll roads. Taxpayers have already paid for those highways and should not have to pay to drive on roads they have already paid for.”
Senator Jeff Wentworth (November 7, 2003)

Read the Senator’s press release.

Let Senator Wentworth know how you feel about his sudden change of heart about converting, US 281 and 1604, existing highways in HIS district into tollways: (210) 826-7800 or email. I thought it was a double tax, Senator? I thought you were against this? Clearly his questionnaire demonstrates he’s pushing tolls and using false and unsubstantiated information to do it!