Governor Malloy made it his personal mission to implement a mileage tax, something residents fought tooth and nail against. However, language in the bill authorizing tolls spells it out perfectly. It was never about tolls.
So, bad news for those who drive 40+ miles to work every day. You will be seriously screwed in the wallet.
Stamford Advocate uncovered language in the bill lawmakers want to put on Governor Malloy’s desk. The bill would allow the State Department of Transportation to develop a plan to bring tolls back to CT.
And then this little fact nugget came out. The DOT released a new worksheet that, get this, charges people PER MILE. It came out on a 1 page sheet that, quite honestly, spewed out stuff that smells worse than a cow farm.
It had this little snippet on it:
“This is based on a recent analysis by CTDOT to develop a toll rate structure comparable to neighboring states that minimizes costs to CT drivers, while capturing a fair share of revenue from out-of-state drivers who currently use CT roads at little or no cost.”
However, when pressed for comment, the committee and lawmakers familiar with the report clammed up. Instead, they said that sheet was “just a draft.”
Either way, that single sheet proved something we feared all along.
Our lawmakers made tolls the proverbial Trojan horse to secretly wheel in their beloved mileage tax. They figured if they dressed that tax up like a more palatable source of revenue, residents wouldn’t notice.
Good thing that didn’t work out too well for them. As it turns out, residents seem equally opposed to this toll plan as the original mileage tax.
The DOT suggested giving residents with a state issued E-Zpass deep discounts when they pass under a toll. The plan calls for taxing residents 6.3 cents per mile during the off peak hours and 7.8 cents during the busier times.
They claim those numbers are the lowest in the country, so residents will be more open to them.
Wrong. Especially since our lawmakers want to install these gantries on all of CT’s major roadways. Rt 9, 2, and 11 included. So, while our prices might not meet the national average, we’ll still become the most heavily tolled state in terms of quantity of rigs.
Also, 6 cents a mile is not the lowest in the nation. Our neighbors up north charge, on average, 2 to 4 cents per mile on their highways.
Actually, CT Mirror reports that 6 cents a mile IS the national average.
Also, study after study condemns congestion pricing, which our state will HAVE to implement if they authorize tolls. It’s federally mandated.
Reports find congestion tolling significantly harms the poor and working class. Especially those already living on a fixed income.
For example: Virginia sometimes has their tolls bill people $.20 cents per mile. However, during some of their most heavily traveled times, people might cough up $36 to drive 12 miles.
Also, with this type of tax, it will also drive up the cost of goods and services in CT. Because, you know, truckers will then pay more out of pocket to deliver products.
House Republican leader Themis Klarides disparaged the idea of tolls, saying the sheer amount of gantries the state wants to install would mean people would have to pay a toll just to buy milk. She also suggested those trying to shove tolls down our throats don’t care about the people of Connecticut:
“Because they can’t get their fiscal house in order they will do anything in their power to increase revenues.”
That’s the issue, if our lawmakers approve tolls, they will need to implement congestion pricing. Considering CT has three of the worst bottlenecks in the nation, you can only imagine how high those prices will fly.
Meaning, the working poor and middle class will suffer the most. They will either have to travel on back roads or play a hefty fee just to drive to and from work.
And, even worse, it’s an additional tax. Toll supporters didn’t seem to thrilled to discuss wiping out the income, gas, or property car tax… AKA taxes our lawmakers brought in to make up for the lack of tolls. Also, even worse, lawmakers flirted with the idea of INCREASING the gas tax even though it’s the highest in the country.
On top of that, because the transportation fund is apparently so woefully underfunded, other problematic proposals floated in. For example: the idea to raise rail fares by 20 percent!
Residents are rightfully angry. How can our state rake in so much in taxes and still not have enough to keep us in the black?
Heck, our state enacted the two highest tax hikes in history… all within the span of 4 years. Here’s an awesome article from Forbes which called those hikes “fiscal suicide.”
Connecticut has the highest tax burden in America, and yet we somehow have the 29th highest population. Not to mention, we’re one of the smallest states in the country, so we have less miles of roadways to care for.
But, somehow, it’s not enough and people want to know why.
No one liked the idea of a mileage tax because we know our lawmakers would just make that the highest in the nation, too.
And yet, here we are, staring at the people who are supposed to represent us and they only care about lining their wallets.
To the lawmakers actively fighting tolls, we here at CT Boom thank you for standing up for us and saying no to the madness.
To those who do want tolls, ask yourself this, is this really the best for the people you’re supposed to serve? How will this affect their spending when you already have them paying so much in other taxes?
How about restoring the 50 percent of funds you redirect out of the transportation fund every year first before chasing down new ways to bleed the taxpayer dry?
It’s madness. It’s like arguing with a toddler that’s thrashing on the ground and screaming “I want it!” That’s how toll supporters make me feel. They want them just because. They have this inflated image that tolls will solve everything and give them unlimited money.
Meanwhile, we the taxpayers playing the role of the parent, have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about.
Anyways, if you’re just as frustrated as I am, listen to this podcast from Chaz and AJ… let Chaz scream at these bratty toll supporters for you. You will feel vindicated.
So, how to tolls make you feel? Do we really need them that bad? Or do you think they will allow CT to implement the highest mileage tax in America?