Rick Perry Saddles Texans With $11.8 Billion in Transportation Debt
Rick Perry saddles Texans with $11.8 billion in transportation debt. Bill White says, "Local voters should make decisions on transportation funding." Rick Perry is clearly against local control and wants to take control himself.
In 2001, Rick Perry issued a personal plea to voters to allow him to finance Texas' transportation infrastructure with debt, which was approved. Since then, Perry has abused the trust of Texas taxpayers by racking up $11.8 billion in transportation debt.
"Rick Perry has lost the trust of Texans," said campaign spokesperson Katy Bacon. "Instead of acting responsibly, Rick Perry racked up billions in debt that our grandchildren will be paying for, and we have little to show for it because of his obsession with the Trans-Texas Corridor land grab."
Bill White believes that local voters should decide what transportation initiatives they want and how they want to pay for them.
"As a former mayor, Bill White believes in local control and fiscal responsibility. That's why he cut tax rates five straight years," said Bacon. "Perry's fiscal mismanagement, on the other hand, has resulted in an $18 billion budget hole and $11.8 billion in transportation debt. Local voters should have more control than Rick Perry over how their tax dollars are being spent."
"Rick Perry has consolidated power in Austin and he dictates to cities, counties and regional planning organizations. For generations in Texas, in communities large and small, voters have decided on bond issues that specify how to fund a project. You have to have a plan for how you're going to pay before you start to build," said Bill White. "That's fiscal responsibility, and that's what Perry lacks."
Texas has a $1.3 billion deficit in the current fiscal budget and an estimated $18 billion budget deficit in the upcoming budget cycle.
In 2001, Rick Perry issued a personal plea to voters to allow him to finance Texas' transportation infrastructure with debt, which was approved.
"Gov. Rick Perry issued a personal plea to voters Thursday to support two highway funding initiatives that are among 19 constitutional amendments to be decided in the Nov. 6 election." "It would also allow state spending on toll roads and use of other innovative financing tools to pay for highway projects." "The governor said the pay-as-you-go system of financing highway construction allows the Texas Department of Transportation to build
only 36 percent of the needed roadways."
San Antonio Express-News, Perry pushes highway propositions, Oct. 26, 2001
Perry also supported the attempt to dedicate future federal highway dollars for debt service rather than roads
"But Perry ...[wasn't] too conservative to propose bending the pay-as-you-go policy in a significant way with a big piece of plastic called GARVEE bonds."
The Houston Chronicle, Long-term debt a short-sighted policy? Jul. 15, 2001
Since then, Perry has abused the trust of Texas taxpayers by racking up $11.8 billion in transportation debt.
"[T]ransportation is responsible for most of the added debt load under Perry, increasing from basically nothing in 2000 to $11.8 billion outstanding as of Aug. 31, 2009."
Austin American-Statesman, White's charge about IOUs under Perry hits mark, Mar. 5, 2010