Texas Considers Shifting Highway Upkeep Responsibility To Cities

DALLAS (August 18, 2013)—The Texas Transportation Commission is considering a shift of responsibility for maintaining nearly 1,900 miles of urban highways in 59 cities to local governments.

The commission will discuss the proposal on Aug. 29.

The Dallas Morning News reported that the shift would force the city governments to absorb $165 million each year in new costs.

The Legislature passed a bill this month that requires the commission to cut state highway spending by $100 million.

Texas Municipal League Executive Director Bennett Sandlin said the plan is would increase property taxes sharply for urban homeowners and businesses and calls it a state "gimmick" to avoid the duty of providing an adequate highway system.

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