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Committee Passes Bill to Curb Excessive Tollway Fees
AUSTIN — The Senate Transportation & Homeland Security Committee today passed SB 469, legislation authored by Texas State Senator Jane Nelson to protect drivers from excessive administrative fees collected on delinquent tolls by the North Texas Tollway Authority. The bill now goes to the full Senate.
"I fully recognize that toll authorities need tools at their disposal to deal with toll violations and delinquent collections. However, I have heard from more than 160 constituents who have seen relatively small unpaid toll bills balloon into invoices totaling hundreds – in some cases thousands – of dollars," said Senator Nelson, R-Flower Mound.
At the March 23 committee hearing, a Fort Worth woman testified she was charged $826 in fees for $23 worth of tolls.
Key provisions of Senate Bill 469 would:
- limit NTTA to one $25 invoice fee regardless of how many missed tolls for drivers who pay within 30 days of receiving notice;
- create a sliding scale of fees up to $225 on second notice for drivers who have multiple toll transactions;
- authorize NTTA to include an additional fee for collection agencies to pursue the most flagrant violators; and
- require one unpaid invoice and three unpaid notices of non-payment before the process would move through the court system.
Senator Nelson represents Senate District 12, which includes portions of Denton and Tarrant counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee.