The swirling force of Texas politics

End of the Road for NTTA?

Legislator introduces bill for "sunset review" of controversial agency

By Ellen Goldberg
|  Tuesday, Feb 22, 2011  |  Updated 11:37 PM CDT
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A <a title=Dallas lawmaker is calling for a comprehensive review of the North Texas Tollway Authority." />

Ellen Goldberg, NBCDFW.com

A Dallas lawmaker is calling for a comprehensive review of the North Texas Tollway Authority.

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A Dallas lawmaker is calling for a comprehensive review of the North Texas Tollway Authority.

State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, has introduced a bill creating a "sunset" review of the agency, looking at everything from excessive fines to insider contracts.

The audit would force the NTTA to prove its worth or face being eliminated altogether.

“We always need to be asking the question, have agencies gotten past their useful life or are they fulfilling their mission?” Anchia said.

The NTTA was created in 1997 but has never undergone a state review, he said.

The bill calls for a review by the Sunset Advisory Commission, which was created 34 years ago in 1977 to identify waste in government agencies.

About 20 to 30 agencies go through the process every legislative session. The state estimates the program has saved taxpayers more than $784 million.

“We have the bill, and staff is reviewing it,” NTTA spokesman Michael Ray said. “We will work with the bill’s author as appropriate."

The agency has come under fire over customer complaints of exorbitant fees, fees that aren't billed until years later and other billing problems.

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