|Date Requested:January 16, 2012
Time Requested:03:52 PM
| FUND(S) |
Toll Road Revenues
Sources of Revenue
|Other Fund Toll Road Revenues|
Legislation creates:Neither Program nor Fund
Effect this measure will have on costs and revenues of state government.
|Although the West Virginia Parkways Authority has no plans of tolling any other roads in the State of West Virginia, the passage of this bill would have a direct impact on toll revenues that could be generated from any other roads that may be tolled in the future. Senate Bill #138 states that its purpose is “to extend the discount program currently available to E-ZPass transponders on the West Virginia Turnpike to all future toll roads.” The current discount plans available to users of the West Virginia Turnpike are uniquely tailored to the blend of vehicle types and in-state/out-of-state users of the toll road and to the obligations for debt service on outstanding bonds and amount of maintenance and operational costs involved in keeping the Turnpike in good condition. We do not believe that a “one size fits all” discount program would be the best approach. Each and every potential toll road and their respective discount programs are unique to that particular project. Points to be considered are as follows: 1) total traffic volume, patterns and mixes (e.g., different percentage of passenger vs. commercial traffic); 2) diversion of traffic onto alternate roads avoiding a toll; 3) expert studies for each proposed toll road including traffic engineering and financial studies; 4) bond market, rating agencies and financial requirements that have to be tailored to that specific toll road in order to have marketable toll revenue bonds; 5) feasibility considerations which are especially important for a brand new untested toll road; and, 6) prior experience and traffic counts vs. projections as with a brand new toll road.|
|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):
| This bill should make it clear that the change in statute only applies to roads for which the West Virginia Parkways Authority sets the tolls.
The Parkways Authority respectfully recommends the following changes to the draft Senate Bill 138:
• Descriptive paragraph: Change the word “extending” the discount for West Virginia E-ZPass transponders to all other toll roads to “providing” discounts on a case-by-case basis for West Virginia E-ZPass transponders on all other Parkways Authority toll roads.
• 17-16A-29(a): Change to read “for all current and future Parkways Authority toll roads prior to the Authority’s fixation of any initial toll rates, tolls or charges or any Authority increase in any rates…”
• 17-16A-29(a): Add to the last sentence the following, “…for each class of motor vehicles but may be different for each toll road for which the Authority sets toll rates and discounts.”
• Under the Note at the bottom of the bill, change to read: “The purpose of this bill is to provide a discount for purchasers of West Virginia E-ZPass transponders for each future toll road for which the Parkways Authority sets the toll rates.”
o As stated above in the Fiscal Note Summary, to extend the existing discount program on the West Virginia Turnpike to other future toll roads would not enable each project to be uniquely tailored to its financial needs to deal with bond markets, rating agencies and other financial considerations.