“We don’t need to use more debt to solve our transportation problem,” said Nichols, a former Texas Transportation Commission member and, since October, the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. “We need to identify a long-term, predictable revenue source so (TxDOT) can actually plan. If you want the most efficient way to do it, that’s what you’ll do.”
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November 25, 2012
The Texas Department of Transportation will spend 10 percent of its next two-year budget on debt payments, the legacy of a several-year borrowing binge — conceived by the Legislature and approved by voters — that allowed the agency to spend tens of billions on new construction in the state’s larger urban areas.
Incurring more than $17 billion in debt — and this doesn’t include other borrowing such as the $2.2 billion for three Central Texas tollways and private debt on roads built under long-term leases with TxDOT — allowed the Legislature to put off raising transportation taxes or fees at a time when explosive growth and an aging road system required massive highway spending…