The Toll Tax: 25 Years Later in China

About twenty five years ago, China made the move to toll tax every road they could, much like Gov. Perry's TxDOT.

How's that working out?

Today the China National Audit Office (NAO) reported that Chinese municipalities have collected $3.2 billion in illegal tolls from drivers. From TheNewspaper.com:

“In 1984, the Chinese government turned to tolling as a means of boosting the country's infrastructure.”
THAT sounds like Gov. Perry’s TxDOT is reading right from the Chinese playbook! And, here’s the heart of what the report found - some toll road bureaucracy tricks:
"The audit report found that government at the local level had taken advantage of this system for purposes other than paying off construction debt. Sixteen of the eighteen provinces surveyed had set up a total of 158 illegal toll booths that had collected 14.9 billion yuan (US $2 billion) in illicit revenue. In addition, eight regions raised tolls beyond the legal level, generating another 8.2 billion yuan (US $1.2 billion) and inspiring motorist outrage.

The audit also identified systemic management problems. Some regions artificially increased the size of the road construction debt so that they could continue to collect tolls over a longer period. Profits from a number of related revenue sources, such as roadside advertising, were diverted to purposes unrelated to debt repayment. Local agencies created their own overstaffed bureaucracies with personnel bringing in large salaries. For example, the Zhongxiang Bridge in Hubei Province could operate collect tolls with just 30 staff, but it employs 144."

"As a result of the findings, the audit office urged the adoption of reforms designed to increase the number of free roads and to reduce the costs of operating toll routes."


Anonymous said...

As one who has traveled and spent time in the Far East, it is not surprising to see such graft even in a communist country. OTOH, they seem to have awakened to the fact that tolling is not necessarily the best route to take.

With rising fuel prices, building a lot of new roads just does not appear to be a sound investment especially if there is an additional toll burden.

But, that's just my 2¢ worth...

Anonymous said...

Money is money to a whore. Make no mistake that these toller Nazis would step on your dead body for a dollar. Hey beeeatch it's all about the benjis. F you Texans, I want my money.

Anonymous said...

Kind of ironic that we are talking about building toll roads and a NAFTA highway, ripping up properties, cemeteries, historical places, all in order to help transport goods being manufactured and shipped to the US by the people having hell with their own toll roads. We are too busy to worry about things like NAFTA highways, etc., after all we have to worry about important stuff like countless political debates, trying to hang Roger Clemens out to dry for lying about steroids, having hundreds of "hearings" about the TTC's and the vast opposition. Have we had enough of our politicians and news media yet ? As mentioned before, building superhighways that transect Texas when fuel expenses are skyrocketing and vehicle travel is going down is just not very smart. We haven't used even 1/2 of most right-of-ways that exist on the interstates that have been a proven way of transportation for 50 years. That was a good concept, good plan, good success because there was a good cause! None of the above apply to the TTC!