For over 60 years, Oklahomans have been sold many lies about our turnpikes. One of the biggest lies was that “once the roads were paid for they would become free roads.”
Here we are in 2017 and not one turnpike has been turned back over to the state. Not to mention that the public has NO idea how the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is run.
We don’t know who owns the bonds, who owned the property before the turnpike authority purchased the land. We don’t know how much money the turnpike authority truly spends!
However, we do know that not one dime of the toll gate money comes back to the state treasury. Not to mention that the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority doesn’t pay any property taxes. Despite all of this, we have never had a Governor in our State call for an independent, forensic audit of the Oklahoma Turnpikes.
You look at our neighbor states and many of them find money to build roads without resorting the turnpikes. Yet here we are in Oklahoma, having been sold a bill of goods to think that turnpikes are our only option to build new highways.
It’s time to take back the turnpikes by first demanding a truly independent-ordered forensic audit of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. I won’t be surprised if that audit uncovers millions of dollars in waste and outright fraud. From there, as Governor, I will work with the legislature to begin the process to dismantle the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and bring these roads back into the control of the people of Oklahoma.