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Tolls: True or False

Tolls will only be on the borders.
FALSE: Against federal law.

Tolls will only be on I-95.
FALSE: Not enough revenue will be collected. Under Governor Lamont’s plan, toll gantries would be located on I-95, I-91, I-84, and Route 15. A DOT-commissioned study released in late 2018 indicated that Routes 2, 8, and 9 could support tolls, and one of the proposals passed March 20th by the Transportation Committee gives DOT flexibility to add tolls on limited access highways as it sees fits.

Tolls will affect only trucks and out- of-state drivers.
FALSE: It’s illegal to only tax non-residents, and possibly illegal to only tax trucks—litigation is pending in other states

Tolls will be at a set rate—no increases.
FALSE: Governor will not commit to a set rate

Tolls won’t hurt Connecticut commuters.
FALSE: The highest rates will be during “peak hours” 6-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m.

Toll revenue and existing STF revenue will all be spent on transportation projects.|
FALSE: Toll revenue must go to transportation which allows other STF funds to continue to be taken

Tolls will jumpstart the economy, create jobs and draw businesses
FALSE: Creates only construction jobs in the short term, which are not guaranteed to go to Connecticut workers or Connecticut unions.

All toll revenue will go toward transportation safety improvements FALSE: Large portion will pay for construction related to toll plan/ installation of tolls which is estimated to begin the first day they break ground until 2040 or maybe longer (they estimate 17 years of ongoing construction).

Out-of-state drivers will carry the bulk of the burden on tolls-related costs.
FALSE: Connecticut residents will pay 60 to 70 percent of toll costs.

The Governor, in his budget, would remove money from the Special Transportation Fund.
TRUE: Money from a tax on the sale of new cars is scheduled to go to the STF. Gov. Lamont’s budget proposes diverting that revenue into the state’s general fund. Siphoning money from the STF today would increase the need for tolls in the future.

The push from Democrats to install tolls will make an immediate impact on our road and bridge repair efforts.
FALSE: If approved, it will take roughly five years for toll gantries to be installed and for the state to begin collecting the revenue Democrats promise.

Tolls will jumpstart the economic rebound our state needs.
FALSE: It will be four to five years before tolls are installed in Connecticut. The Republican plan, however, would provide funds much sooner. If transportation improvements are so critical to Connecticut’s economic recovery, why are Democrats willing to wait?

The state’s business community wants tolls.
FALSE: Democrats promote only those business leaders who support their initiative and have largely ignored the many smaller yet critical employers who say the installation of tolls will have a negative impact on their business.

All other eastern seaboard states have the type of tolling Connecticut’s majority Democrats say our state needs.
FALSE: Democrats like to use what other state’s do as justification for installing between 53 and 82 toll gantries in Connecticut, but that just doesn’t work. It’s unfair to Connecticut taxpayers, too. The type of tolling varies from state to state, as does the types of roads that are tolled. Massachusetts has 13 toll gantries, on only one road, twice the population of Connecticut, and those 13 gantries bring in over $350 million per year. If what other states are doing is the measuring stick, why do the plans from majority Democrats have so many?

Democrats won’t borrow for transportation projects.
FALSE: Major transportation projects require bonding, and Democrats will certainly borrow money for repairs.

Connecticut would have electronic tolls, a path that won’t cost the state that much.  
FALSE: It will cost $372 million to construct the tolls and $138 million annually to run them ($100 million to run the toll collection operating costs and administration and $38 million to run the network and fiber optics).

Democrats have a plan that outlines their transportation priorities and the projects they believe the state should pursue.
FALSE: Democrats have yet to state their transportation priorities, and they want to pass legislation approving tolls with no plan in place. In our plan, Republicans have called to resuscitate the Transportation Strategy Board to develop a concrete plan before committing to spending money.

Majority party Democrats are the legislature’s most dependable voices on transportation funding.
FALSE: Democrats have held the majority in the legislature for 40 years, yet recently they’ve said the legislature that they’ve controlled has sat on its hands and failed to fund transportation improvements. Additionally, between 2011 and 2017 Democrats raided $650 million that should have been used for transportation.

The Republican “Prioritize Progress” transportation plan borrows more money than Connecticut residents can afford to pay back.
FALSE: The Republican plan isn’t borrowing more, in fact, the Republican plan works within the existing bonding plan bringing no new cost to Connecticut taxpayers. The program is purposely named “Prioritize Progress” because Republicans believe that only projects of the highest priority should be targeted. borrowing for major projects is the standard method governments use to pay for largescale projects, and unlike tolls it carries the least impact on residents’ household budgets. The Republican plan would see the state borrow within the strict bonding cap we negotiated during the 2017 deliberations, and our plan would shift Connecticut’s scattershot borrowing practices of the past toward a more focused approach that would prioritize Connecticut’s most critical transportation needs.