This really puts the screws to the senator's fellow Republicans. Eltife proposes to raise the sales tax to get TxDOT out of debt. The Legislature has two choices: (1) raise taxes and pay off the bonds with the new revenue; or (2) allow the bonds to be retired over many years. If lawmakers choose to raise taxes, the bonds can be paid off over twelve years and TxDOT will be out of debt. If lawmakers choose to continue to make debt payments, it will take 28 years to pay off the bonds.
This seems like a no-brainer, but it does require a tax increase. With Dewhurst up for reelection and prone to boast about how Texas doesn't raise taxes, and Perry facing a possible reelection race or another presidential race, the pressure is really on the two leaders to decide to make the smart choice or the pandering choice.
If the Legislature refuses to raise taxes, I don't ever want to hear again what a conservative state Texas is when it comes to fiscal policy. It's a lie. We're pushing this debt off on our grandchildren. What I'm waiting for is for Michael Quinn Sullivan to tell us what he thinks is the smartest thing to do. More debt? Stop building roads? Or bite the bullet and raise taxes? Please, Michael. Curious minds want to know.
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