NTTA Legislative UpdateDuring the 82nd Texas Legislature, the NTTA supported Senate Bill 469, authored by Sen. Jane Nelson, to revise the NTTA’s toll collection process. SB 469 benefits customers who pay to use the NTTA System by assessing the cost of the NTTA’s toll enforcement efforts onto the small minority who refuse to pay. The bill includes the following five provisions for the NTTA’s toll collection process.
- Requires issuance of an invoice for ZipCash tolls (i.e., non-TollTag transactions);
- Upon failure to pay the invoice, authorizes a “first notice of nonpayment,” under which the NTTA can impose a single administrative fee of not more than $25;
- Upon failure to pay the first notice of nonpayment, authorizes a “second notice of nonpayment,” under which the NTTA can impose an additional administrative fee of $25 per unpaid toll, up to a total of $200;
- Upon failure to pay the second notice of nonpayment, authorizes a “third notice of nonpayment,” under which the NTTA can add third-party collection agency fees; and
- Upon failure to pay the third notice of nonpayment, the registered owner may be prosecuted, in which case payment of the unpaid tolls, administrative fees, and third-party collection fees may not be waived by the court unless the court finds that the owner is indigent.
NTTA staff is working internally to address the bill’s revisions, and they briefed the Board of Directors on the proposed implementation plan, communications and outreach plan, and recommendations regarding administrative fees prescribed in the new toll collection process. The Board will be briefed again on Aug. 4, with final approval of the implementation plan scheduled for the Aug. 17 Board meeting. Immediately afterward, staff will initiate an enhanced awareness campaign to reach ZipCash customers, who are most affected by the new toll collection process, as well as elected officials. The revised toll collection process will go into effect Sept. 1, 2011.
For more information regarding the SB 469 implementation plan or NTTA’s legislative goals and outcomes for the 82nd Legislature, please visit its Government Affairs page at www.ntta.org or contact Director of Government Affairs Carrie Rogers at 214-224-2269 or firstname.lastname@example.org.