Tony Dale

  • Link to article here.

    Lawmakers clash with toll bureaucracies over cap on toll fines

    By Terri Hall
    March 11, 2018
    Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research

    It’s a great day for Texas drivers as a new law takes effect capping the toll fines and fees on some Texas tollways to $48 a year. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion just as the law took effect that said the new law applies to all toll entities, but only under a limited section of the Transportation Code — Chapter 228. This has put toll agencies, like the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), on a collision course with lawmakers over the interpretation of how broadly the law impacts certain toll projects.

    Paxton did assert the new law applies to “an entity operating a toll lane pursuant to Section 228.007(b), Transportation Code,” which brings in every type of toll entity. However, most toll projects are not governed by agreements with TxDOT under Chapter 228, so toll bureaucracies argue the new law, passed as part of SB 312 last year, only applies to a handful of toll projects.
  • Link to KXAN news story here.

    TxTag Troubles: Nearly $1 billion added to TxTag accounts as billing woes continue
    By Sarah Rafique, Brittany Glas, Josh Hinkle & Ben Friberg
    KXAN-TV News
    August 2018

    AUSTIN (KXAN) -- Mela Louviere let out a laugh when she opened a collections letter for her TxTag toll account earlier in June. The bill showed she owed $5,750 in administrative fees for only $412.85 in toll usage.

    “We assumed there had to be some sort of computing error, human error, something,” said Louviere, of Pflugerville. “There had to be something mistaken because we hadn’t done anything that was worth $6,000.”

    It wasn’t an error. According to a Houston-based collections agency, her account was overdue and she was hit with a $25 penalty for each individual toll.

    Louviere isn’t alone. This year, more than 2.2 million Texas toll accounts had a bill sent to the agency Perdue Brandon Fielder Collins & Mott, who added nearly $1 billion in fees to drivers’ accounts, according to information obtained by KXAN through an open records request. And, the number of Texans affected could be even higher since the Texas Department of Transportation, which oversees TxTag, said each account could have more than one vehicle tied to it.

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