Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, Gov. Perry, and Sen. Carona Attend Secret Meeting Over SH 161 Toll Tax Profits Today

After TxDOT's pretend "drop dead" deadline passed, for an agreement on shifting SH 161 to a toll road, TxDOT now says there is more time.

Like hungry tax vampire zombies fighting over the same piece of eternal tax meat, the NTTA (local tolling authority) Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, a Gov. Perry representative and Sen. John Carona are expected to attend a secret meeting, behind closed doors today to fight over who gets more of the toll tax profits according to the Dallas News:

"Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and other key legislators are expected to meet behind closed doors in Dallas today to end a deadlock over State Highway 161 that has threatened to derail plans to toll the highway, a development that could cost North Texas more than $1.2 billion in road funds...

...The Texas Department of Transportation has insisted for weeks that if no agreement was in place by April 16, the road could not be built as a toll road.

That prospect prompted howls of protest from local elected officials. Senate transportation committee chairman John Carona, R-Dallas, stepped in Thursday to initiate the unusual last-minute involvement of some of Texas' most powerful elected officials."
What happened? Why did the agreement break down before the pretend deadline?

NTTA tried to slip in one word into the contract, that would allow it to keep the profits of the toll road forever, when TxDOT planned on getting the profits after year 52.

SH 161, a state highway, was always promised to have a free expressway. There is right of way we've paid for involved as well as hundreds of millions of tax payer dollars, intended as a sort of corporate welfare for the tollers.

Read, Draining the Highway Fund

Update: Peter Stern's blog tells folks to contact the AG to file a formal complaint for a lack of "Open Government".

No comments: