Oklahoma Turnpike Authority Has Perpetual Funding
The Original Deal 1947
The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority was created by act of the Twenty-First Oklahoma Legislature on April 30, 1947 (SB 225). The Act provided for the construction of the Oklahoma City-to-Tulsa turnpike (officially named the Turner Turnpike by HCR 15 on May 1, 1947), the only anticipated turnpike project at the time of the legislation. The original four members of the Authority (in addition to the Governor) were mandated to represent the four counties to be served by the Turner Turnpike (Oklahoma, Lincoln, Creek, and Tulsa).( SB 225 provided for construction of the Turner Turnpike only and stated that upon redemption of all bonds issued, the turnpike could become a non-toll state highway, subject to acceptance by the State Highway Commission. SB 225 also provided, however, for the refunding of the bonds issued to construct the Turner Turnpike, which if done could lengthen the period of bonded indebtedness. Without refunding, the original bonds issued to construct the Turner Turnpike would have been retired in the third quarter of 1991.)
The bond debt is currently $1.2 billion and is scheduled to be paid off in 2031, assuming no additional debt is incurred. According to O.T.A., they have approved additional maintenance projects for the year 2016 that come to a total of $27,786,314.00. Don't forget, the driving forward estimate of $892,000,000.00 This proves these roads will never be paid in full. The link below shows projected prices of the scheduled maintenance for 2016.
O.T.A. Preapproved Future Projects
Double Crossed 1954
The people of Oklahoma voted in 1954 to “cross-pledge” the turnpike system. By this action they voted to commit the tolls collected on all turnpikes to pay the debt service, maintenance and expansion for the turnpike system, not each individual road."
Perhaps, we should vote on this and see how 2016 Oklahomans feel about cross funding. I don't believe 1954 Oklahomans intended for O.T.A. to build an empire of endless toll roads.
Health and Pollution
Gentrification and Fair Market Value
Gentrification occurs when wealthier residents move to an area, and changes occur due to the influx of wealth. As wealthier residents move into an area that is already populated with lower income residents, the neighborhood begins to change. Often this will spark an urban renewal process which 'cleans up the town', but leads to an increase in rent, taxes, and other costs. Sometimes this change means that the previous residents can no longer afford to live in that neighborhood.
Do higher property taxes sound good to you? When new homes are built in an area the county assessor considers the area revitalized. This allows the assessed value of your property to be raised to match the trend. While claims of higher property value have been made, this only benefits a property owner on the day they sell their home. Nearby property owners will be plagued with higher property taxes every year they retain ownership of their property. It works very much in the Governor's interest to raise the tax structure for rural Oklahoma. Given our budget shortfall, lack of certified teachers, and terrible roads, do we really want to give government bureaucrats any more property tax funding?
If they re-zone all this agricultural land to commercial and real estate developments, many city and county codes will have to be updated. Did you know there are cities that prohibit parking a pickup truck on the road? Will you be able to keep project vehicles parked on your land? Will new zoning codes prevent you from keeping livestock? Will you still have the same freedom as you do now?
Without a crystal ball, claims of growth by OTA are speculative at best. Most rural residents don't value the kind of growth that OTA is predicting. We don't want whole square miles of housing editions. We don't want a mile of busy chain restaurants. We love our farms, ranches, and grazing land! We moved out here with the understanding that there would be some times we have to go to town. Privacy and country living more than make up for extended drive times. Local Chambers of commerce and EOCP have overstepped in speaking for all businesses. Residents have inquired and local businesses have answered. Our neighborhood businesses are nervous! Chain stores kill small independent business and turn small towns into big cities. Driving forward feels more like driving past the point of no return.
Small Farms and Homesteads - Not Urban Sprawl
The OTA proudly and openly admits it will target the cheapest properties first. Undeveloped farmland and mobile homes will be prime targets. Even the hint of a turnpike construction project has depressed the housing market. As fearful home owners vacate the area, the real estate market will fall into a glut. Fair market value will be based on a falling market. It is likely that Fair Market Value won't be fair at all.
Wildlife, & Habitat Destruction
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb