As Connecticut partied and drank itself into a St. Patrick’s Day stupor, our politicians plotted behind closed doors. Turns out they quietly voted on tolls.
It’s like déjà vu. They did this once before over Metro North’s fare hikes. Again, when the people were distracted.
But, let’s be real. That only affected commuters. So money was only coming out of a select group’s pockets.
So, sneering and rubbing their hands together, our politicians moved towards a tax that would affect almost everyone.
Fox 61 reports that on a razor thin margin, the state’s transportation committee green lit electronic tolls. Now, they have four years to figure out what to do with them.
Well, first the bill has to pass the House and Senate. A vote, I may add, can take place anythime between now and mid-June.
Hazy details, gotta love it.
So, until that vote happens, you should be checking the bill’s status and calling your representatives like crazy.
Because if you don’t, were probably getting tolls. I bet those votes will also take place when we’re not really paying attention. Like Memorial Day weekend.
Anyways, transportation committee co-chair Tony Guerrera is promising that enacting these tolls will go through a lengthy planning process:
“How we raise money, where the tolling will be throughout the state, how we give Connecticut a discount and with that also, how we start enabling ourselves to start lowering the gas tax.”
As expected, not many commuters believe him. Instead, voters are already predicting that the gas tax will go up along with car taxes. Hey, with more smart and gas efficient cars on the road, those streams of revenue are probably drying up real fast.
Because the state has a spending problem. And you can’t spend your way out of a deficit. Our government is addicted to spending money. And that obsession grows worse with each newly implemented tax.
So, as our hero who has been against tolls since the beginning of ever, State Senator Toni Boucher, said:
“There’s a lot of concern that if you put in tolls, they’re just going to take that money and use it to solve budget deficits just like they have had in the past. […] The gas tax is actually more equitable. It affects everyone that drives a car. A toll is just on those people that are unfortunately having to go to their job everyday to somewhere that would cross a state line or go through a toll.”
As with thoughts that taxes will only increase, many believe that toll funds will fall into the black hole known as the general fund.
Yeah, not many of us believe that promise of the funds being safely placed inside a “lock box.”
Honestly, we know better by now. We’d love to see our roads and bridges patched up. I bet a lot of us wouldn’t mind if we saw our highways getting a healthy dose of toll money. However, it’s the same old song and dance by this point. We know exactly where that money is going.
So, if you don’t want to see tolls on the roads, better call and write your representative. It’s all on you now.