Originally Posted by Jdawgboy
I would rather have Austin use a special tax to build freeways rather than Toll Roads any day... Why can't the government here do what Phoenix did?
The Phoenix tax was basically non-drivers and urban drivers subsidizing suburban sprawl - just like what we do here, except a bit worse. Toll roads, on the other hand, actually make the people who cause all the congestion pay the bills (well, at least more of the bills than they pay today).
The gas tax would be OK IF there was a minimum funding mechanism in place like the federal gas tax has (i.e. Austin guaranteed to receive no less than 90% in spending for the taxes their drivers pay). But there isn't - urban drivers' gas taxes go to places like Round Rock and the like.
If you want sustainable urban development, tolls are a great start - they're like bus fares in that the connection is immediate to the facility/service in a way that gas taxes, and especially the non-user-fees like property and sales taxes aren't.