The cost of taking a road trip could go up as the White House tries to lift the ban on interstate tolls.
The Obama administration believes lifting the 1956 ban would provide $87 billion for our aging roadways.
“We already know that the transportation commissioner has suggested slapping tolls all over I-35 through the Austin area, so they absolutely want to implement tolls on existing interstates, and they're just waiting on the green light from Washington to do it,” says Terri Hall with the group Texans United for Reform and Freedom.
TxDOT issued a statement saying the agency "is prohibited under state law from imposing tolling on existing interstates -- the Grow America Bill would not change that. TxDOT is committed to reducing congestion and improving mobility within the confines of state law."
Sean McNally at the American Trucking Associations thinks raising the gas tax is a better idea. He insists it would be cheaper than tolls, and there's a greater percentage of the gas tax already going to roads than from tolls.
“The fuel tax has not been raised since 1993,” McNally tells KTRH News. “Since that time, construction costs have gone up and the purchasing power of tax revenue has gone down.”
However, neither believe politicians have the guts to raise the gas tax.
Hall says the Texas doesn't need any more tolls if the state would just dedicate our gas tax and other fees to fix aging roadways.
“As you know, whenever you buy a new or used vehicle you pay a 6.25% tax on that,” she says. “Any tax that is levied on our cars, car parts, gasonline, or anything related to road users should be going to pay for roads without anything being done to the general revenue.”