Collin County Commissioners Court Meeting to Discuss Our Long-Term Transportation Needs
On Monday, December 15, the Collin County Commissioners Court will hear a presentation from the Collin County Director of Engineering Clarence Daugherty. Mr. Daugherty will recommend an approach to plan for and develop the transportation system that will be required to support our build-out population of over 2 million people. Also in attendance will be Kelly Selman, Deputy TxDOT District Engineer, and Michael Morris, Director of Transportation for the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG). There are many factors as we continue to discuss how we will approach our future transportation needs, and I welcome your input.
In general, we are encouraging our legislators to dedicate our vehicle sales tax (which currently goes into general revenue) to transportation. We are also asking to stop the diversions that are not constitutionally mandated from our gasoline severance tax (.20 cents per gallon). Currently, 47% is diverted - 25% goes to education (mandated), but the other 22% should not be diverted to DPS, Tourism, the Comptroller or the AG's office. We have a $5B annual shortfall just in maintenance and debt service costs, even without considering new roads. Prop. 1 will help some ($1.7B projected in the first year), but much more is needed. The problem is that with rising healthcare costs, Medicaid and education costs, our transportation dollars continue to get squeezed out.
Suffice it to say, unless our legislature makes some drastic changes and places a high priority on funding our roads, we will be faced with at least one of three negative consequences: additional Traffic, additional Taxes, and/or additional Tolls. Frankly, I don't think any of those options provide real answers, and they certainly don't represent the desires of the people of Collin County.
Also on the agenda, we will discuss our needs regarding the number of County Court at Law courts, (just as we did last week regarding District Courts.) Both are part of our larger Legislative Agenda for our 84th Legislature convening in Austin on January 13, 2015. Join us at 1:30 p.m. in the Commissioners Courtroom, 2300 Bloomdale Rd, McKinney, OR online to watch the live-stream video webcast, as well as past Commissioners Court meetings HERE. The agenda and court packet may be found HERE.
I think the court presentation today will be insightful and educational, and I look forward to hearing what our engineer as well as others have to say about our future needs and how to meet them. And as always, my door remains open.