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."