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Measure Would Allow Tolls to be Collected on Existing Interstate Highways

   The Obama Administration has included language in the new Federal Highway Bill that will allow states to charge tolls for driving on existing Interstate highways, 1200 WOAI news reports.

 

  The White House says with the Federal Highway Fund being rapidly depleted and gas tax revenue declining because vehicles are becoming more fuel efficient, states need to have all of the flexibility they need to raise needed revenues to build and repair roads.

 

  San Antonio anti toll activist Terri Hall of Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom has joined with a national group, the Alliance for Toll Free Interstates to work to block the measure from becoming law.

 

  "We all know this is a huge double tax, to charge us again for something we have already bought and paid for," hall said.

 

  She says the American Trucking Association, as well as groups like FedEx, are banding together to lobby against the measure when it goes to Congress.

 

  Hall says TxDOT would move 'in a heartbeat' to toll existing Interstates, if they had the authority to do so.

 

  "Chairman Houghton has already said that he would like to toll all of existing I-35 through Austin, and then swap it with the State Highway 130 toll road, making the far flung 130 road east of Austin the new free Interstates."

 

  Hall says Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison worked hard for years to kill similar proposals in the past, and she will begin lobbying Sen. Ted Cruz to kill this measure.

 

  "I think this is the worst result, we can't let it happen, this is an absolute insult, a huge double tax scheme," she said.

 

  With the exceptions of stretches of highway which existed before the Interstate Highway System was built, like the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Turnpikes, all 48,000 plus miles of Interstate Highways in the U.S. were designed to be free roads by law.

 

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