Rep. Camillo Submits Testimony in Opposition to Toll Bills

Posted on March 6, 2019 by admin


Testimony In opposition of

HB 7280, An Act Concerning Support For Transportation Infrastructure And The Creation Of The Connecticut Transportation Finance Authority

Transportation Committee

March 6, 2019

Dear Co-Chairs Leone, Lamar, Ranking Members Martin, Devlin and distinguished members of the Transportation Committee:

I am writing to express my opposition to HB 7280, An Act Concerning Support For Transportation Infrastructure And The Creation Of The Connecticut Transportation Finance Authority.

The reinstallation of tolls in Connecticut will continue to have the “pile on” effect of more taxation. To be clear, some have called tolls “user fees”, but I strongly disagree with that characterization of tolls. User fees are discretionary, like a golf or tennis pass and a beach card. However, we all must drive on our highways. We have no choice. Hence, these are more taxes on an already over taxed citizenry.

Moreover, residents will not just be paying when they drive, but will also see increases in prices from vendors who service their homes as those businesses will pass along the added costs of doing business due to the tolls. One local business contacted me and told me that they calculated close to $100,000 in tolling costs. No one should expect any business to “eat” that cost.

Let’s give the lock box on the Special Transportation Fund (STF) a chance to work now that the voters spoke in the affirmative on that issue in November. Also, our weigh stations, always a significant source of revenue back when the state troopers operated them and were open a lot more than they are today, should not be closed as much as they are now.

Lastly, lines 59-60 of the proposed bill state “If both houses fail to vote during such fifteen-day period, the tolling proposal shall be deemed approved by the General Assembly.” This is a sneaky way of passing this measure and an insult to every resident and voter of our great state.  Let’s not give the public any more reason to not trust their government and not entertain such practices.

Thank you for your time and consideration on this bill. I urge you to vote NO on HB 7280.

Sincerely,

Fred Camillo