COMMISSIONERS PRICE AND MAYFIELD GO AT IT OVER DALLAS TOLL TAXES by Jocelyn Foster
Tue, Sep 12, 2006, 08:35 PM
John Wiley Price and Ken Mayfield are at it again. Tuesday morning at the Commissioners’ Court, Price and Mayfield argued, as they often do. Only, this time it was over the transportation issue.
Mayfield’s point: We have fallen behind in transportation due to an event that happened back in 1991. There was an increase in the gasoline taxes, ostensibly to fund transportation projects in our state. Instead, Mayfield claimed that those dedicated funds were re-directed into spending on education.
Judge Keliher reminded Commissioner Mayfield that 25 percent of money raised from the gas tax can constitutionally be used for education.
"Well, yeah, but more than that was used for education back in 1991," Mayfield said.
Mayfield’s point is that education is still in a horrible state, but now we are behind in our transportation system because that money wasn’t used properly.
Mayfield would have liked to see all that money go for transportation needs. He feels that Dallas citizens should not have to pay all of these gas taxes PLUS high toll fees because gas tax revenues were used improperly.
Fair enough, but "that train has already left the station," Commissioner Price said.
Mayfield turned a little red, "[the citizens’] voices should be heard…maybe something will be done if another Governor is elected, which I hope Perry loses next term."
Ironically, Mayfield was complaining about legislative decisions that were made long before Rick Perry was elected Governor.
After all the arguing between the two Commissioners, the court agreed that they would like to see what the plans for transportation would look like if tolls were not a part of the equation. They asked the Texas Department of Transportation to provide them information about all of the alternatives to increased dependence on toll roads. DOT officials said they would report back to the Commissioners Court with that information.