Kathi Thomas on Toll Roads
Kathi Thomas, Democratic candidate in Senate District 25, had a letter to the editor published last Friday in the Statesman.
Instead of publishing her full commentary, the online and paper addition only used parts. Here is the piece in full.
I agree with Rep. Rodriguez that putting all toll roads in East side of Austin, where more people are less likely to be able to afford them, is unfair, However, to force the 290/71 Y to be a toll road when the Fix 290 group's plan would save millions in construction, impact the environment much less (including Williamson Creek which contributes to the Edwards Aquifer) and eliminates tolls just because the West side "deserves" toll roads isn't a wise use of public money.
Instead, I propose that we don't need the toll roads at all. Instead of forcing some people to pay for roads, a wise legislature would raise the gas tax by the 2 cents per gallon that is widely reported to be the amount that it would cost to keep from tolling roads. At 2 cents per gallon, we'd all be paying less than we would for tolls, and it would be a much more fair and equitable way to fund roads.
Currently, we have a governor who touts his "tax cutting" while upping "fees" to middle and lower income people as a routine way of life, while his rich supporters get off with nice big tax breaks. People need to wake up. No tolls- and no one who supports tolls should elected on November 7.