Thursday, May 1, 2014

Obama Says New Highway Tolls Are Okay - NOT!

The Obama administration moved to open the door for states to collect tolls on interstate highways to raise revenue for roadway repairs - essentially abdicating the federal government's responsibility to fund the interstate highway system.

This is very bad news for western Connecticut’s economy and environment if steps are taken to bring tolls to Connecticut’s border towns.

The proposal, contained in a White House transportation bill, would reverse a long-standing federal prohibition on most interstate tolling.

Any move to revive the idea of interstate tolls for placement in border areas like greater Danbury should be stalled immediately. Tolls on Connecticut’s western border would drive motorists to take local roads to avoid them, creating traffic bottlenecks in those neighborhoods and additional air pollution.  Border toll proponents say most of the toll revenue will come from non-Connecticut residents, but what about the person from greater Danbury who drives to work in New York, every morning?

In recent years, the State of Connecticut has raided over $187 million of taxpayer money that was supposed to be directed to transportation projects such as upkeep of roads and bridges.  Instead, that money was used to balance the state budget.

Tolls are taxes. We are overtaxed already. We need to get our spending under control.  We need to get honest in how Connecticut taxpayers’ money is being handled.

I have fought back past attempts to bring border tolls to Connecticut and I will continue strong opposition based on this week’s news from the White House.