|Date Requested:January 20, 2011
Time Requested:03:31 PM
| FUND(S) |
Turnpike Toll Revenues
Sources of Revenue
|Other Fund Turnpike Toll Revenues|
Legislation creates:Neither Program nor Fund
Effect this measure will have on costs and revenues of state government.
|This bill does not affect the general revenue of the State of West Virginia. The West Virginia Turnpike is operated and maintained by the Parkways Authority with Turnpike toll revenues paid by the users of the highway. Thus, no State tax or general revenue dollars are used in the maintenance or operation of the Turnpike or in paying debt service on Turnpike bonds issued by the Authority.|
|Effect of Proposal||Fiscal Year|
|1. Estmated Total Cost||0||0||0|
|Repairs and Alterations||0||0||0|
|2. Estimated Total Revenues||0||0||0|
3. Explanation of above estimates (including long-range effect):
| The West Virginia Parkways Authority is governed by its enabling legislation, its bond trust indentures and a Tri-partite Agreement between the Authority, the Federal Highway Administration and the West Virginia Division of Highways. The covenants of these agreements strictly govern the collection and expenditure of toll revenues, but do not affect the General Revenue of the State of West Virginia.
The trust indentures do not permit the toll collection schedule to be altered unless certain traffic engineering studies are performed and debt coverage tests have been met. These requirements were established to protect the bondholders’ investment, to ensure adequate revenues to maintain and operate the Turnpike and to provide for future capital needs of the Turnpike. It is important to understand that no Federal or State funds of any type are used to operate or maintain the West Virginia Turnpike. Every penny spent on the operation, maintenance and upkeep of the Turnpike comes from toll revenues. The Authority receives no tax dollars from any source.
State and Federal owned vehicles pay tolls to use the Turnpike, just like private citizens. Exempting a particular class, special interest group or agency would be precedent setting and place the Authority in a position of collecting tolls on a basis of subjectivity.
During the 2001 Legislative Session, the Senate Finance Committee conducted several hearings while considering Senate Bill #653, removal of tolls on school buses. To respond to the concerns expressed by members of the Committee, the Parkways Authority Board directed staff to develop a method by which school buses, on extracurricular trips, could transit the Turnpike cash-free. A letter was sent to every County School Transportation Director in the State of West Virginia offering two options to pay their tolls. The current toll for school buses is $3.25 per mainline toll plaza. County schools can either pass through the plazas and be billed at a later time via invoice or they can establish an E-ZPass pre-pay account whereby their driver can pass through the plazas using their transponder and receive a 20% discount resulting in a discounted toll of $2.60 deducted from the county’s account. Several school systems have established E-ZPass accounts. This communication was done to eliminate any of the hardships or financial burdens placed on the school bus drivers that were reported to the Board.