Thursday, March 27, 2008

TX Legislature continues to do the fund shuffle...

In the latest chapter of the Republican fiction of, “everything and a tax break,” TX Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Steve Ogden proposes the next generation of fund shuffling.

After years of moving funds that were created for targeted causes (e.g. hunting and fishing license fees, fuel taxes and lottery revenue, etc…) to all the other under funded state programs, the Senator wants TxDOT to sell bonds for necessary infrastructure operation, maintenance and expansion. This method requires taxpayers to eventually pay both the original amount and the accrued interest. If that’s not enough, then let’s borrow from the Employees Retirement System, Teachers Retirement System, Permanent School Fund and Permanent University Fund (funds that already exist) to build more toll roads. If the toll roads don’t earn sufficient sums to pay back enough money, in a timely fashion, for the dedicated fund’s own expenses to be paid, Oops.

The alternative is to admit that the task is under funded and raise the long dormant fuel taxes, and then use the funds for the infrastructure tasks that are needed; some are already overdue.

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