The Republican plan requires no additional revenue. In other words, taxpayers will not have to pay additional money.
Democrat plans for tolls will require Connecticut residents to pay somewhere between $500 million and $700 million. This is on top of more than $500 million in gas tax, which residents will continue to pay.
The Republican plan relies on borrowing to fund large transportation infrastructure projects. The amount of borrowing will be within the state’s bond caps. Rates for borrowing are historically very low and the money will be used for infrastructure projects that will last for decades. This plan makes sense and is the way that states and the federal government pay for transportation infrastructure projects.
Democrats complain that the Republican plan relies on bonding. The reality is that their plan requires tolls AND bonding. The difference is that their plan requires toll money to repay the debt. Democrats have no credibility when it comes to increased long-term costs. They approved the refinancing of a state employee union agreement that will cost taxpayers $11 billion more over the next 30 years.Now, they plan to do the same for teachers’ retirement, which will add another$17 billion in costs to taxpayers.
The Republican plan is a significant commitment of almost $65 billion in new money over 30 years. The plan can begin tomorrow because we are truly making it a priority to fix decaying bridges, repair potholes, and make wise investments in public transportation so that we can reduce traffic congestion.
The Democrat plan depends completely on the implementation of tolls. IF Democrats can get enough votes for a tolling plan, it will take four to five years to install tolls. Therefore, the additional funding that is needed for transportation NOW will have to wait several years. Where are their priorities?
We know how much our plan will cost. We know we have to get the most out of every tax dollar we spend. We will not raise taxes or implement tolls to fund the Republican plan.
|Whatever plan Democrats come up with will be just the beginning. Have you ever heard of a toll road or a toll bridge where the toll amount is decreased over time? Democrats view tolls as yet another unlimited source of money that will free up other revenue to be used to pay for other non-transportation spending. There is no predictability. We don’t know how much they will spend and we don’t know how they will spend it.
We already have a transparent legislative process in place that allows for full, statewide public hearings and multiple levels of approval to adopt new programs, taxes, laws, and policies. The Republican plan would follow this same open and transparent process to fund transportation projects.
|The Democrats’ plan would create a separate entity or grant unprecedented authority to the Department of Transportation outside of the legislative process. The process they propose puts decisions to increase toll rates in the hands of a select few individuals were not elected and are not accountable to voters.