The Games TxDOT Plays

By EyeOnWilliamson Blog:

Ben Wear has a great post up about a TxDOT plan to use “an extra $300 million” to secure a $2.1 billion bond. It could be used to help out Williamson County and it’s recent loss of federal money for roads. From the post, TxDOT, strapped or not, might get a loan.

The catch is that you can’t borrow $2.1 billion when all you’ve got is $300 million in year one. Bond investors would want to know you’ll keep having the money in future years. In this case, that means that in future years the agency would have to use gas taxes to make the debt payment — which is exactly what they’ve already chosen NOT to do — or the Legislature would have to make the $300 million an ongoing deal.

Actually, voters kind of already did half the work. They approved Proposition 12 in November, which would allow TxDOT to borrow up to $5 billion and pay it back from the general fund rather than the gas taxes and motor vehicle fee that feed the TxDOT kitty. But to make that voter decision a reality, the Legislature will have to pass “enabling legislation” in 2009 and appropriate the money.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

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