As you may have heard, Governor Malloy last week announced he is requesting $10 million in borrowed money to pay for a study on the impact of electronic tolling in Connecticut.
Toll legislation has been considered by the General Assembly each of the past five years, but it has never received enough votes to pass either chamber because of significant public opposition to putting another financial burden on cash-strapped Connecticut residents.
In the face of that opposition, the governor issued an Executive Order requiring the DOT to prepare a toll proposal and study how much it would cost commuters. However, I don’t think we need a study to show the implications of tolls because they are obvious – it will make living in Connecticut even more unaffordable than it already is.
While I believe our infrastructure needs to be improved and modernized, I cannot support an additional scheme to collect even more money from Connecticut residents until the state conducts a serious re-evaluation of how it prioritizes the transportation funding we already collect, how the state can more accurately calculate the costs of transportation projects, and a real transportation funding “lockbox” is instituted.
The state already allocates funding for transportation from two gas taxes, the tax on out-of- state trucks, one half point of the CT sales tax, the sales tax on new cars, all sorts of fees, and borrowed money. We should be reducing the tax burden on families and businesses, not increasing it.
My caucus has sent a proposal to Governor Malloy to address our transportation needs without imposing tolls – proposals that have been ignored.
To that point, I would like to share with you a letter my colleagues – House Minority Leader Themis Klarides and Finance Committee Ranking Member Chris Davis – wrote to the governor asking him to remove the request from the Bonding Commission’s agenda.
I stand with my colleagues in urging the Bond Commission to refuse the governor’s $10 million request as well.
The Commission is scheduled to meet on July 25.
Click on the image below to read the full letter:
Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have questions about items on the State Bond Commission agenda or any other state issue.