The governing board of the Ohio Turnpike met today and gave the go-ahead to Governor John Kasich's plan to have the Turnpike go heavily into debt to fund non-revenue road projects around the state. And to reassure bond investors the Turnpike can service the debt it committed to ten years of annual inceases in toll rates of 2,7% each year.
North Texas Tollway Authority is using a new state law that gives it the ultimate power to seize vehicles of habitual toll violators and impound them until outstanding tolls and penalties are paid. Before that it will have the power to ban vehicles from NTTA tollways, get vehicle registration blocked, and deploy civil collections hassles.
But before they try the chaingang approach NTTA are offering a kind of amnesty that's in effect until September 7.
2013-06-12: The Wall Street Journal this morning headlines "Global Tumult Grips Markets" and leads with: "The tectonic plates of the world economy are shifting, moving the yield on the 10-year Treasury to the highest level in more than a year and shaking financial markets from Tokyo to Mumbai and Johannesburg to São Paulo."
2013-05-30: A comparative review of US tollers by Fitch Rating service rates the Ohio Turnpike Commission and the Harris County Toll Road Authority as the two safest bond propositions in the country with AA ratings.
Penn Pike's debt-to-fund-handouts model continues to be issue in state legislature - 3 years of insolvency
2012-11-13: State auditor general Jack Wagner said again today in a legislative hearing that the Pennsylvania Turnpike "will go over a financial cliff at some point" unless it is relieved of the obligation to hand over $450 million each year to the state DOT for free roads and transit subsidies. He called the mid-2007 law (Act 44) requiring the payments "a financial noose" around the neck of the Turnpike.
The Orlando FL area toller OOCEA has a major refinancing in the works - to take advantage of low interest rates and reduce its exposure to an increase in rates. Some $463m of debt is being refinanced and some swaps are being terminated. Total debt of OOCEA is some $2.6 billion.
Fitch and S&P rated the new bonds A, Moody's A2. Moody's has a 'negative' outlook for OOCEA because of the state of the economy and the area's dependence on discretionary entertainment and tourist travel. Fitch and S&P have the toller's outlook 'stable.'
2012-08-28: Preliminary $-numbers for fiscal year 2012 show the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission's (PTC) debt now standing at close to $8 billion, a near threefold increase over the past five years. In FY2007 total debt was $2.71b, while at end FY2012 it was $7.95b - 2.95-fold higher.
New Jersey's transportation trust fund debt is growing rapidly and debt service leaves almost nothing from traditional gas tax and registration fees revenues - shown dramatically in bar charts of the state legislature's office of legislative services analysis of the DOT budget (p26, p23.)
Pennsylvania Turnpike "drowning in debt," faces bankruptcy if legislature doesn't repeal imposts - state auditor generalBy Peter Samuel on January 5, 2012
The Pennsylvania state auditor, Jack Wagner says the Turnpike is "drowning in debt" and faces bankruptcy if the state doesn't cease bleeding it for cash. The Turnpike Commission he writes "is sinking in debt because of financial obligations the General Assembly placed on it through Act 44 in 2007."
State governments can be rough lenders. Late last month Tampa Hillsborough (Toll) Expressway Authority (THEA) faced a state budget that demanded it provide $69m to support state DOT road projects in the coming financial year. This was a sudden demand to repay about two third of outstanding debt of the toll authority to the state incurred before 2002.