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MYTHBUSTER: Tax Dollars and the OTA

Myth: My tax dollars are being used on the Turnpike System in Oklahoma

Busted: No tax money is used in the Turnpike System in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is 100% user funded, with no tax appropriations.

More info: The OTA receives no tax money to operate its turnpikes. Revenues from tolls, investments, and concession leases pay all operating and maintenance costs for the turnpikes and pay off the bonds issued to finance their construction. In 1992, legislation was enacted which made available additional motor fuel excise taxes, if necessary, for payment of debt service requirements on the Authority’s bonds. Each month, if motor fuel excise taxes apportioned to the Authority are not necessary to meet debt requirements, these motor fuel excise taxes are paid to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Since that legislation was put in place in July 1992, the Authority has received and immediately remitted 100 percent of those receipts to the Department of Transportation. Today, those transferred funds are estimated at over $40 million dollars per year and have amounted to approximately $1 billion since 1992.


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