Governor Malloy jumped back on the transportation wagon again because he wants to fix I-95. How will he pay for it? Well, we’ll get to that later. It involves money growing on trees, though…
CT Post reports that Malloy unveiled his latest epic plan to the public this morning concerning our highways. Well, more importantly our state’s most traveled highway. In order to tackle its treacherous congestion issues and deteriorating condition, he says widening it would solve the issue.
Sounds great and all because no one likes sitting in traffic for hours on end after a long day at work. Considering CT houses three of the worst bottlenecks in the nation they should be addressed.
Malloy currently plans on widening I-95 from Greenwich to New Haven, and then in parts of Eastern CT that sees the most traffic. More specifically, the points of interest are exits 7, 9, and 27A.
But… how much is that going to cost us?
Malloy wants to widen I-95 northbound between exits 9 through 19, and again from exit 19 to 27A. The first half runs a tab of $399M. The second half, however, is a lot more costly. Basically, the state would need to drop $1,257M to widen that entire stretch.
As for I-95 Southbound? Malloy wants to widen between exit 0 at the NY border up to exit 7 for a price of $659M.
But, how can we pay for it if we don’t have enough money in our Special Transportation Fund to bring this proposal to the bond market. Whatever will our lawmakers do?
Obviously, Governor Malloy gestured with his jazz hands to a giant illuminated “TOLLS” sign. Of course. On top of that he can-canned a “tire tax” number and shimmied to a “higher gas tax” boogie.
Let’s not even touch the topic of all those rail fare hikes, which aim to spike an additional 20 percent by 2021.
For the gas tax, which Connecticut jacked up because we don’t have tolls, will rise by 7 cents over the next four years.
On top of that, Malloy proposed tacking on a $3 fee on all tires purchased.
But, the biggest pain in the rear of all is… tolls. Now, Connecticut has a strange relationship with tolls. We like the idea of them, but only if the state nixes the fees it implemented to make up for the fact that we didn’t have them.
Like the car property tax.
But, we know once our government puts in a new stream of revenue, it’s in there for good. Like the state income tax which Weicker promised up in down was only “temporary.”
So, residents know better and that’s why they decry the idea of reinstalling tolls when we already pay so much into the Special Transportation Fund.
But, our lawmakers don’t care. No, they want more money to spend on more unnecessary pet projects.
So, if you thought the previous toll map looked outrageous, you better hold your breath before reading the current revision. I’ll give you a moment to collect your breath and kiss your wallet goodbye.
According to Yankee Institute, our lawmakers want to put tolls on 100% of Connecticut’s highways. Yes, 84, 95, 91, 15, 7, 8, 2… they want to hit all of them.
And, for how much money? Get this: 10 cents a MILE. That would effectively make Connecticut the state with the highest tolls.
Considering our lawmakers consistently reference RI, MA, and NY as role models for tolling, they sure missed what made people tolerate them. For example, New York only erected tolls on 33 percent of their total highways. Massachusetts only tolls 26 percent of them.
Even better, looking at all of America’s highways, only 6.4 percent of them have tolls on them.
Our lawmakers say they want at least 78 tolling stations to divvy up between CT’s 347 miles of interstate.
Go big or go home, am I right?
So, does our Governor think that by promising less congestion will make us want to cough up more dough? Yeah, I don’t think so.
So, with this 10 cents per mile formula, the state aims to rake in $681M from residents every year. Meaning, the average household will have to fork over an additional $500+ a year to our politicians.
Many families say they don’t have that extra cash on hand, so they’re pretty much screwed.
But, you know how desperate for money our lawmakers are and might even push for 20 cents a mile because, eh, they think we can afford it.
So, if that goes through, the state will generate $1.1B per year.
Anyways, that’s what our lawmakers currently have on the table. Again, they want to raise taxes AND spending, which always works out for us in the end, right?
What do you think will happen to the state if it does implement that 10 cents per mile toll? More importantly, will people even care once I-95 is widened after this?
Above all else, what options should our lawmakers explore before trying to stick it to us again?