Collin County's Kenneth Maun is the Only Thing Standing Between the NTTA and Your Car

NTTAKennethMauns.jpg
NTTA, meet Collin County Tax Assessor-Collector Kenneth Maun, aka your worst nightmare.
The North Texas Tollway Authority has had trouble in recent years of actually making drivers pay to use its roads. Hence the tens of millions of dollars in unpaid tolls and fees it says it's owed, hence its infamous list of the most egregious offenders, hence the lawsuits it began filing a few months ago.

The agency has had a much easier time navigating the Texas Legislature, where it persuaded lawmakers to ease its debt-collection efforts by giving it the power to impound the cars and block the vehicle registrations of unrepentant scofflaws. It's found equally compliant partners in Tarrant, Denton, and Dallas counties, where commissioners voted yesterday to allow NTTA's registration blocks.

With the taste of victory fresh, who knows what the agency might push for next? Garnishment of paychecks? Debtor's prison? Secretive NTTA black sites? The slope could get quite slippery.

See also: NTTA Will Soon Have the Power to Block Vehicle Registrations and Impound Cars

To do any of that, however, the NTTA will first have to reckon with Collin County Tax Assessor-Collector Kenneth Maun, who has established himself as the best friend of toll scofflaws since the agency did away with toll-booth arms.

The Dallas Morning News reported yesterday that Maun is refusing to block vehicle registrations in Collin County.

See also: North Texas Tollway Authority Now Officially Suing the Pants off Habitual Toll Violators

"They're trying to get somebody else to do their work for them," Maun told the paper. "They're not doing anything on their own."

That dulls the NTTA's new tool considerably, given that a fifth of its nearly 80,000 habitual violators live there.

See also: Tollway Authority Swears List of Top Toll Violators Not Attempt to Shame Top Toll Violators

Nor is this Maun's first time to thumb his nose at the initiatives of other agencies. In 2010, the Plano Star-Courier reported that he would not be opting in to an initiative blocking the vehicle registrations of people with warrants for outstanding traffic tickets.

So, hats off to Maun, we guess.

Update at 3:05 p.m.: We just spent a few minutes talking to Maun, who explained the rational for his stance -- and his frustrations with NTTA -- in more detail.

"Number one is easy: I'm elected, and I'm in an office that hasn't gotten any new people for the last eight years," he says. Meanwhile, "the population keeps growing, and every person comes with a vehicle."

Right now, his office handles the average vehicle registration in three minutes. Add in the extra work and confusion from processing the NTTA's files, and Maun thinks that would edge closer to 20 minutes. That would not make people happy.

Point two, as he told the Morning News, is that he doesn't think very highly of the NTTA.

"I'm irritated because I think the NTTA is playing games," he says. They first floated the possibility of partnering with his office to block vehicle registrations 10 months ago then, after nine months of silence, came back last month ready to get started.

That tells Maun that they're "not setting the world on fire" trying to collect unpaid tolls.

Maun says he hasn't heard from the agency since his comments became public. He's heard from a handful of constituents on both sides of the issue, which is interesting given how universally reviled the NTTA seems to be. He's taking it all in stride.

"I' just trying to do a job -- I'm trying to do a good job. And I don't feel they've been doing their own."


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35 comments
bostondfw
bostondfw

 There are thousands of Texas motorists who have already unwittingly opened the door to government surveillance by participating in TollTag, TxTag, or EZ Pass --- Can the NTTA be trusted?


http://www.rfid1984.com/tollway.html

Don North
Don North

You don't even live in Texas Jim Davis, you live in California, I doubt you have payed a FN dime in tolls you liberal pretend Texan, actor from California, get you ass back to Cali and STF up!

Don North
Don North

WHo said I didn't like the rules Jim????? I've paid more than your ugly ass that I assure you! And as a native Texan I've paid in more tolls, more highway taxes, more gasoline taxes, and more state taxes than you, if you don't iike it leave Texas Sir!

Jim Davis
Jim Davis

Don`t like their rules then find anouther route. It`s that simple.

Jim Davis
Jim Davis

Pay your bill or take another route...

Tyler Atnip
Tyler Atnip

here's seomthing I never understood... why not have a toll gate? You don't get through without a toll tag and then there is no way to have 'unpaid tolls' imagine what would happen if they removed toll entrances from buses or subways in other cities.... of course people are just going to pass through, ignore their mail etc. they set themselves up for this and THEN they also didn't link up with other states before all of this 'no toll booth' thing passed so people from other states are getting bills almost 2 years old because NTTA was letting them go through but not billing them until now

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

2008: NTTA continues to pay former executive director's $260,000 salary with commuters' toll taxes--even after his resignation.

2011: Allen Clemson, the embattled executive director of the North Texas Tollway Authority, resigned from his post Friday, saying he would rather quit than be fired as expected when the authority’s board meets next week.   Since his hiring in 2009, Clemson has pushed an agenda that included re-examining the authority’s reliance on a cadre of high-powered — and expensive — professional consultants who have acted as NTTA’s lawyers, engineers and other professionals for generations.

2013: Arlington businessman Victor Vandergriff announced Wednesday his resignation from the North Texas Tollway Authority board, nearly 15 months after he stepped down as board chairman in the midst of a fight over the authority’s reliance on high-dollar consultants.

Seems we the taxpayers are again helping bail out a private company and fund the usual politically connected crooks. 

jjmoreta1
jjmoreta1

The NTTA is a shady agency. I drive the toll roads every day for work. My debit card attached to my toll tag account expired. I didn't find out until they tried to take money out of my account and it failed. It took me a couple of days to see the email and update it. They resumed taking the money out of my account and I thought everything was fine.

Several months later I received a collection notice for $80, which was about $5 in tolls (from those couple of days they didn't have anything to deduct from) and $75 in fees. I didn't get a notice about the $5 otherwise I would have called them up and told them to take it from my account as it should have been in the first place. My toll tag has been in continuous use for years so I have no idea why the tolls couldn't have been charged to my account, except that they're trying to make money from from unreasonable fees.

They set up a grace period this year for "habitual violators" but people like me who try to pay their tolls don't qualify. I think this is robbery and will fight it!

Jon Pitt
Jon Pitt

Who is going to make these criminals pay up?

James Day
James Day

Pay your damn bill or get out of my way and drive on another road...

Jim Davis
Jim Davis

So he protects the law breakers why I continue to pay my fees? He`s a little prick.

Don North
Don North

NTTA are bullies at the very least, more like nazi ss, not allowing due process or protesting fines, handing out multi-million dollar contracts of various natures to their crony friends. They even had an offender arrested for unpaid tolls, and then Dallas county forgot about him for weeks while he rotted in jail, there are better ways to collect fees for scoflaws, being underhanded and quasi illegal and bullies is not the way

SunsetNTTA
SunsetNTTA

If you think this guy is right to hold off enforcement of an unconstitutional mandate from the state, search Sunset NTTA and 'like' the page, grass routs is going to topple this whole corrupt mess. if you think this guy is wrong, do the same thing and educate yourself on why you should oppose any action from the NTTA or state. Crony Capitalism has no place in the state of Texas!

MaxNoDifference
MaxNoDifference

Perhaps the NTTA has plans to rendition the scofflaws from Collin County to Dallas County.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

Fuck the NTTA.

The Dallas North Tollway was paid off years ago. Remove the tolls and let Collin and Denton Counties build their own damn roads. Dallas should not be paying for their roads.

Tim.Covington
Tim.Covington

I would love to see chain gangs of yuppie toll scofflaws working on the sides of the toll roads under the blazing sun of a Texas summer.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@Tyler Atnip 

That would restrict access for the folks that don't have toll-tags. There are provisions for collecting fees from drivers that don't (for whatever reason) want a toll-tag.

Not to mention the piles of cash to be harvested from scoff-laws - particularly since they don't even need to fund an internal department to enforce payment since our law-enforcement agencies have so amiably agreed to play the muscle to the NTTA's Capo.

blankcur1
blankcur1

@Jim Davis I think his point is that he will be using your tax dollars to go after the people refusing to pay tolls. He thinks the NTTA should go after these people (or at least try)

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@SunsetNTTA so you think its ok to not pay the tolls when clearly its a toll road?

manpanties
manpanties

@ScottsMerkin @SunsetNTTA I think its ok to not pay the tolls.  I also think its ok for the toll people to go after them.  I'm not sure its ok for the govt to be their muscle, unless the NTTA actually is the govt.

justabil
justabil

@ScottsMerkin @SunsetNTTA I'm ok with the tolls if the state will refund my gas taxes paid for gas used on that road, especially if the state is getting involved in enforcement.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@manpanties @ScottsMerkin @SunsetNTTA  

NTTA is a quasi-governmental agency similar to DART and  DFW Airport.  It is a governmental entity, that is, it was created by a legislative act or constitutional amendment, but there is no direct connection between the populace and the governmental agency.


The NTTA is taking this step and the Legislature provided it as NTTA was in danger of defaulting on its bonds due to a low compliance rate on toll collections.  That is, when the NTTA sold the financing bonds for the different projects, it covenanted that the collection rate for tolls would be a certain rate.  People then found out that there is no real enforcement of the tolls.


I am still surprised at the amount of heavy truck traffic on the DNT where there is not a toll tag anywhere on the windshield of the truck.

SunsetNTTA
SunsetNTTA

@justabil @ScottsMerkin @SunsetNTTA exactly, or say, if each of us is re-imburrsed for our out of pocket expense to pay for a road that is subsiquently turned into a toll.. maybe? search 281 toll project... 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@dmtrousd 

Exactly.

Why should my tax dollars (that should be used for, you know, actual law enforcement) be redirected to secure the profit taking motives of a private concern.

dmtrousd
dmtrousd

The NTTA runs a private, for-profit monopoly on transportation routes. I could take the public roads to my jobl in McKinney, but that would take well over an hour, so I must take the toll roads instead and it ain't cheap.

But NTTA should police scofflaws on they're own dime, instead of asking the state to do their bidding for their for-profit venture. Many people are under the mistaken impression that toll roads eventually get "paid off," but the Sam Houston toll is over 20 years old and still charging. At least the Hardy Toll is a parallel route.

Yes, scofflaws should pay, but they shouldn't ask the county tax-assessors to do their bidding. Kudos to Maun for getting it right

SunsetNTTA
SunsetNTTA

@ScottsMerkin you're taking the bate all too quickly,  the NTTA and their comrades in state government (Texas corridor ring a bell?) are flagrantly out of control crony capitalists if you consider yourself a 'conservative' you should oppose any action like this on constitutionality alone... This is a revolving door of favor and wealth for the politically well connected. when i see anything that appears to slow their out of control power grab I cheer for it. SCOFFLAW is NOT the problem, stop being distracted. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@SunsetNTTA Im just asking.  If people are not going to pay, you have to have a way to enforce the tolls.  And while yes the NTTA is a running joke, I see no problem with witholding registrations or towing your car if caught on the tollway with thousands in unpaid tolls.  Lets face it,  if you got $100 in tolls unpaid, they are not looking for you, and if they are, youve been warned many times by mail or call or lawsuit that they are after you

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