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Christopher Paxton

Austin’s Debt Train to Nowhere

In November, Austin voters will decide on City Proposition 1—a billion dollar transit rail line that will over double the city’s debt and lead to a substantial tax increase for property tax payers. Unlike previous elections on boondoggle projects, greater citizen engagement has led Austin City Council members to resort to downright deception to swindle […]

By |September 25, 2014
TXDOT’s About-Face

Yesterday’s Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) meeting witnessed a marked departure from usual state transportation policy: actually funding urgently needed improvements to state roads. Although this might be a victory for taxpayers, the commission’s action has dark implications for future state transportation policy. In its monthly meeting yesterday, TTC Chairman Ted Houghton declared that changes would […]

By |September 19, 2014
Democrats: The No-Show Party

Senate Democrats had better things to do than attend today’s hearing on transportation. Not a single Democrat on the Senate Transportation Committee bothered to show up and hear testimony from TxDOT staff and citizens regarding TxDOT’s funding challenges and implementation of new legislation. The empty chairs of Senators Wendy Davis (yes, that Wendy Davis), Kirk […]

By |September 17, 2014
RMAs: Repeated Malfeasance Authorities

Regional Mobility Authorities (RMAs) tasked with transportation projects in certain areas of the Lone Star State are engaged in waste and incompetence that would make TXDOT blush. Even worse: our state transportation dollars subsidize the waste, meaning that when an RMA wastes money, all Texans pay. In 2003, the Texas Legislature passed the Regional Mobility […]

By |September 17, 2014
Houston Officials Bury Their Heads In The Sand

Houston’s elected officials are continuing to endanger the prosperity of our state’s largest and most economically vibrant city by ignoring major fiscal challenges and complaining about voter-imposed revenue limits. For the first time in five years, Houston taxpayers will get a tax rate cut on their property taxes. While this rate reduction is the first in […]

By |September 12, 2014
TXDOT’s $1.4 billion blank check for tolls

Supporters of Proposition 1 (Prop 1) who oppose new tolled roads are in for a shock: given TXDOT’s fund swapping practices, any funding restrictions in the proposed law are virtually meaningless. Regardless of the fact that Texas is the most-tolled state, there would likely be no slowing this trend under Prop 1. We’ve reported before […]

By |September 10, 2014
Liberals’ Favorite Republican

Kevin Eltife – known best in Austin for his desire to raise taxes – is back at it, clamoring for more spending while bashing conservatives in the process. This time, he caught the attention of liberal bloggers who were quick to praise him. A perennially sub-par performer on the Fiscal Responsibility Index, Eltife has long […]

By |September 9, 2014
TXDOT Playing with Toys

Citizens should be pleased to know that tax dollars used for projects known as Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) are being well-spent….on toys. At its most recent monthly meeting of the Texas Transportation Commission (TTC) in Dallas last week, visitors could treat themselves to free giveaways provided by none other than the corporations that “sell” PPP projects […]

By |September 1, 2014