TxDOT's 'Forward Momentum' generated a firestorm of controversy and was picked up by media outlets worldwide.
Language in transportation bill will prohibit existing Interstate hgihways from being converted into toll roads
November 9, 2007
By Jim Forsyth
An investigation by 1200 WOAI news in September which revealed the existence of a secret Texas Department of Transportation plan to 'buy back' existing Interstate highways so tolls could be collected on them has resulted in language being inserted into the federal transportation funding bill which would permanently forbid the practice, 1200 WOAI news reports today.
"Using toll roads to double tax Texans is just plain wrong," said Congressman Ciro D. Rodriguez, who is a member of the Transportation Appropriations Conference Committee. "The people of Texas have spoken and they do not want the federal highways they have already paid for to be converted into toll roads."
The 1200 WOAI news investigation revealed a memo to Congress in which TxDOT suggested that it could use tax money to 'buy back' Interstate highways to get around a provision that tolls not be collected on existing federally-owned highways. The report generated a firestorm of controversy and was picked up by media outlets worldwide.
"Converting existing Interstate highways, paid for by taxpayers hard earned dollars, into toll roads represents double taxation," Congressman Charlie Gonzalez said. "By inserting this language into this bill, we have taken just and appropriate steps to prevent this unfair practice."
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