They’re everywhere! No, seriously, that’s exactly where our lawmakers want to put all these electronic tolls. Unfortunately, that essentially elevates tolls to yet another tax.
CT Post reports that electronic tolls cleared a major hurdle yesterday. They passed along party lines in the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. So, that means they gave the Department of Transportation the go ahead to develop and implement statewide tolling.
Turns out, not everyone loves this motion because of where our lawmakers want to put the tolls. For example, State Senator Toni Boucher criticized plans because of how much it would cost taxpayers:
“Between Greenwich and New Haven, there would be 12 tolls. That would represent $200 a month out of someone’s income. It is a tax not a toll.”
In what world does 12 tolls on a small stretch of road measure anything else other than plain old greed? Nothing.
Even worse, electronic tolls would not just go on our major highways such as 95 and 91. Oh no, Governor Malloy expressed interest in installing tolls on every roadway, including route 8, 7, 9… yes, even on the unfinished rt 11.
See a problem yet?
Now you understand why our lawmakers said tolls would generate $600 to $800 million annually? It’s because they want CT to become the most heavily tolled state in the nation.
For example, New York only put tolls on about 30 percent of their major roadways. Our lawmakers want them on 100 percent of ours.
So, that means, our back roads and side roads will really take a beating because no one wants to fork over an extra $200 bucks a month to drive to work. Most residents don’t even have $200 a month to spare because our cost of living is so high.
But, our concerns keep falling on deaf ears. Instead, state lawmakers say our special transportation fund, the exact fund they raid and direct 50 percent of all cash flow from, needs “dire help.”
Yes, it’ll supposedly become insolvent by 2020. But, really, why is it our responsibility to fix it? We didn’t break it.
But, try explaining that to a lawmaker that fully supports the notion that taxing and spending will save us from debt.
Sen. Carlo Leone, a Democrat from Stamford, urged people to support this measure. Because electronic tolls are for the greater good:
“There may never be a common ground. But our infrastructure will suffer, and the worst scenario is lives could be at risk. Every time you see an out-of- state car go by throw a buck out the window because they are not contributing.”
However, we residents still have hope that this bill will be defeated. It now heads to the house, where it might become cleverly merged with another bill before the vote. So, call your representative and tell them the current tolling plan sucks.
Honestly, I wouldn’t mind tolls if our lawmakers slashed our gas tax, took away the tire tax, and reduced our car property tax. All brought in because we didn’t have tolls.
Also, I would feel privy to support tolls if they weren’t going to be installed all over the place. Even on Route 2 that sees, like, barely 1 percent of the total traffic on 95?
If these lawmakers think putting tolls on all our interstate highways and state routes, they’ll make life a living hell for those who live along side roads. I know if electronic tolls go on the Sikorsky Bridge, I sure as heck will change my daily commute to work because I don’t have the extra cash to pay a toll just to drive 10 minutes to work.
And, honestly, I won’t care that my little yellow car disturbs the scenic back roads between Derby and Milford.
So, if you don’t want people flooding your streets as much as you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg to drive to work, contact your state representative. Seriously, click HERE to find out where exactly these electronic tolls will go.
Also, you can bet they will try to smash this bill through before November’s election because the people of CT are fed up with this “Tax and tax more” ideology.
So raise your voice now and don’t let up.
Express that if tolls are to come to CT, you want something to be done about all those taxes put in to make up for the fact we didn’t have them. You want tolls? Take away the property car tax. Or, heck, at least slash our train fares and gas tax.
Because, if tolls go in and we still have to pay those other sources of revenue, even more taxpayers will flee the coop.
What do you think? Will we see tolls with no compromise? Or will our lawmakers realize that they bled the golden goose dry long ago and are just making the problem worse?