Shifting Attitudes of Tolls

Since the departure of Governor Rick Perry, a major driving force behind opening up Texas to toll roads, Republicans have shifted their stance on transportation. “The Republican platform urges lawmakers to ‘adequately fund our highways’ without tolls and asserts the party’s opposition to ‘the use of taxpayer money to subsidize, guarantee, prop up or bail out any toll projects, whether public or private.'” As Perry Exits, Texas GOP Shifting Away From Toll Roads

tollfreerally Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, said the state transportation department needs to keep providing highway lanes to keep up with population growth, but needs to do so with existing revenues and not tolling components.
 
“Good roads are a fundamental government function,” he said.
Texans, lawmakers rally for anti-toll road legislation

Recent Funding Boosts for TxDOT

  • Proposition 1, authorizing annual disbursements from the state’s oil and gas production tax collections to the State Highway Fund, passed overwhelmingly (80%). The revenue is not allowed to be used for toll roads.
  • Senate Bill 5, which passed in June, dedicates a portion of the motor vehicle sales tax to road funding. The revenue is not allowed to be used for toll roads.

Funding For Innovation Studies

FHWA Accelerated Innovation Deployment Grants provide funding for innovative highway improvements.

“Innovations may include infrastructure and non-infrastructure strategies or activities, which the applicant or the subrecipient intends to implement and adopt as a significant improvement from the applicant’s or the subrecipient’s conventional practice.”

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