Category Archives: State Politics

Writing the intent of the law out of the contract

Let’s say you make $91K per year. You’ve just ticked over into the 28% income tax bracket and you’ve got to mail the IRS a hefty check. But all of a sudden the IRS does you a huge favor: they raise the tax bracket.  In fact, they raise it by a factor of a thousand. 

Help Eliminate the Governor’s Excuse

Now that the LKN towns, counties and businesses have voiced their opposition to the I-77 toll plan, Governor McCrory and NCDOT’s insistence on the project hangs off a single excuse: two years ago the regional planning board (Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization) voted for tolls. Through the end of July you can help eliminate that

UPDATE: NC Senate takes dead aim against Widen I-77

UPDATE July 2 The Senate today passed an amended version narrowing the awarding of attorney fees to lawsuits “based on environmental impact.”   Our case is not based on environmental impact, so the law does not apply to us. For those that emailed and called your legislators, thank you. For the Senators that made the

NCDOT Ensures No Improvements on I-77 for 50 Years

The I-77 tolling contract contains a non-compete clause that allows Cintra to be compensated for lost revenues resulting from certain public improvements. Basically, if we add any general purpose interstate lanes we’ll not only pay for construction costs but also whatever revenues Cintra is projected to lose. There are a few exceptions to this. One exception is if

NCDOT Extends Financial Close A Third Time

NCDOT and I-77 Mobility Partners have amended the contract a third time to extend the financial close.  The original financial close date was January 22, 2014.  It had been extended through two previous amendments to May 17, 2015.  The latest agreement extends the financial close another ten days, to May 27. Surprising Addition That NCDOT

Feds Approve $189M in Bonds for I-77

Today the TIFIA Credit Council met to review Cintra’s proposal for $189 million in taxpayer-backed bonds. Despite the fact that three fourths of toll revenues will go to the NCDOT, despite the fact that the contract has to be amended so key provisions right now are just placeholders, despite two extensions of the deadline at

NCDOT & Cintra extend financing deadline at taxpayer expense

Last week NCDOT and Cintra  extended the financial close deadline for the I-77 toll lane project by amending the tolling contract.  Under the original terms Cintra was required to secure financing by January 22, 2015 or forfeit a $15 million security deposit to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). The original terms also allowed

About that $70 billion…

“We have $70 billion in road needs and only $11 billion to pay the bill.” It’s a lament commonly used to justify toll lanes. We heard it at the candidate forum last week, and we’ll probably hear it at the next one tomorrow night. But how did NCDOT come up with that $70 billion figure,

About that bonus money…

You may have heard recently about a “bonus” allocation of money allotted to our region as a reward for building toll lanes. The law that passed last summer requires the NCDOT to “make available” a bonus allocation equal to half of the project cost funded through toll revenue bonds, up to a maximum of $200

A Crucial Question…

There’s an all-important question facing the toll lane issue regarding how NCDOT is interpreting the law. Before we get to that, we need to look at a similar grammatical construction. Consider the following statement: “I will not eat spoiled meat or fish.” Does this mean: A: I will not eat fish at all or B: