Terri Hall - Founder/Director
Texans Uniting for Reform & Freedom (TURF),
EMAIL: [address removed]
Texas for Sale :
Grassroots ask Perry to VETO bill that hands 23
Texas roads to private, foreign toll
includes I-35, Hwy 183, Hwy 290, Loop
1604 & more!
Austin, TX, June 10, 2013) - A crucial
bill, SB 1730, that will
effect the next three generations of Texans sits on Texas Governor Rick Perry's desk awaiting
his signature. The bill would authorize the Texas Department of
Transportation (TxDOT), or toll entities, to enter into Public Private
Partnerships (P3) known in Texas
as Comprehensive Development Agreements (CDAs), for more than 20
projects, including rail and three bridges.
Grassroots groups across Texas are asking Perry to veto the bill, despite
his avowed support of P3s. TURF, Texas tea parties, the Texas
Libertarian Party, and dozens more watchdog and liberty groups, oppose
P3s as sweetheart deals and corporate welfare, designed to extract
punitively high toll rates from travelers with little choice other than
congested free routes. Indeed, conservative columnist Michelle Malkin calls P3s 'corporate welfare' and Rachel Alexander calls them 'double taxation' and
Projects included in the bill:
(many segments), I-820, Hwy 183, US 67, Hwy 114, Loop 12,
Loop 9 (in DFW)
290, SH 99/Grand Pkwy, Hwy 288 (in
183, MoPac (in Austin )
1604 (in San Antonio )
375 & NE Pkwy (in El Paso )
County Loop, Outer Pkwy Project, Int'l Bridge Project, & COMMUTER
RAIL PROJECTS (in Hidalgo & Cameron counties)
Padre Island Second Access Causeway
Project (in South Padre)
Bridge Project (in
Corpus Christi )
adamantly oppose control of Texas
roads being handed to a private toll operator, much less by un-elected
boards, including TxDOT. The PEOPLE of Texas haven't changed their
minds since the Trans Texas
Corridor or the moratorium in 2007.
This is a freedom to travel and state sovereignty issue, and Texans
want to maintain sovereignty over our public infrastructure, not grant
it to private corporations who can GOUGE taxpayers for the next half
century," Terri Hall,
Founder/Director of Texas TURF, warns.
cannot afford the crony capitalism that is endemic to these alliances
of public and private entities, which have no taxpayer protections. We
beseech you not to hand Texas
roads to private corporations who will extract exorbitant toll rates
(75 cents/mile) from commuters just to get to work.
Texas roads should belong to Texans.
It's anti-liberty and un-Texan to hand state sovereignty over public
infrastructure to private, even foreign, entities for a half century in
'sweetheart' deals which guarantee profits for private companies and
more congestion on free routes," insists JoAnn Fleming, Chair of the
Texas Tea Party Caucus Advisory Committee and Founder of Grassroots
Keeps the Trans Texas
are the financing method behind the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC) and the primary
mechanism keeping aspects of it alive today. Loop 9 in southern
Dallas has long
been called part of Trans Texas Corridor TTC-35 project. A public private
partnership on I-35 itself is also part of the TTC concept once TxDOT
abandoned new corridor options and switched to existing corridors.
floor debate on SB 1730, Rep. Larry
Phillips, Chair of the House Transportation
Committee, assured his colleagues the bill had nothing to do with the
TTC. But it clearly does. See this news article where
former TxDOT Director admits Loop 9 is part of TTC-35 and they're now
switching the name back to Loop 9.
Extract exorbitantly high toll rates as high as 75 cents per mile
(see details on CDAs for LBJ, North Tarrant Express on p. 2 here)
Grant private, even foreign, entities state-sanctioned MONOPOLIES for
eminent domain for private gain (take land in name of 'public use,'
then becomes private purpose for private gain)
expansion of free roads (guarantees congestion on the free routes)
speed limits to drive more traffic to the toll road (increase speed on
tollway, decrease on free route)
The CDA for SH 130 gave financial incentives to TxDOT for raising the
TxDOT received a $100 million pay-off from Cintra (2012) for raising
the speed to 85 MPH.
TxDOT subsequently lowered the speed limit on the free alternative
traffic forecasts & revenue studies SECRET from the public (Transp
Code Sec. 366. 403)
private corporations the power to tax
low-bid, competitive bidding, replaces with 'best-value' bidding,
allows P3s to be doled out to the well-connected = CRONY
Heist PUBLIC money for PRIVATE profits. Use massive
amounts of public money (gas tax, PABs) & public debt (federal
TIFIA loans, potentially the State Infrastructure Bank) to
subsidize/prop-up toll projects that can't pay for themselves (see
examples on p. 2 here).
Hand control of our PUBLIC infrastructure to a PRIVATE entity.
Proponents argue the STATE still TECHNICALLY owns the road, however,
giving a single corporation a monopoly for 50 yrs. who has the ability
to depreciate the 'asset' on its taxes is, in reality, giving the
entity effective ownership of our PUBLIC roads for a HALF
since the Trans Texas Corridor came on the scene, Texans went
radioactive at the notion of having private land handed to private,
even foreign, corporations for private gain, rather than a public use,
and the idea that a private company could dictate what roads get built
(non-compete agreements) and how high the tolls would be.
differ from a completely private road/project and differ from the
government simply contracting work out to the private sector since
a P3 involves an ownership stake or a long-term leasehold. While
claiming to be built with private money and transferring the risk
from the public sector to the private sector, this controversial
financing mechanism virtually always involves PUBLIC money and
public RISK through profit guarantees and taxpayers being on the
hook for potential losses.
Check out TURF's complete wrap-up of the 83rd regular
is a non-partisan, grassroots, all-volunteer group defending citizens'
concerns with toll road policy, public private partnerships, and
eminent domain abuse. TURF promotes pro-taxpayer, pro-freedom, &
non-toll transportation solutions. For more information or to support
the work of TURF, please visit www.TexasTURF.org.
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