Sen. McLachlan: Bringing tolls back would be an “unfair regional tax” on western Connecticut residents.

February 25, 2013

Article as it appeared on
Conn. lawmakers debate resurrecting highway tolls
Posted 2013-02-25 11:36:00

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Another plan to reinstitute highways tolls in Connecticut is heading for a debate in the state legislature.

The General Assembly’s Transportation Committee will hold a public hearing today on various proposals to establish tolls along Connecticut’s borders, throughout the state and on Route 11 in southeastern Connecticut.

Brookfield State Representative David Scribner, a ranking member of the committee, and Danbury State Senator Mike McLachlan both oppose bringing tolls back to the state. They cite issues such as loss of federal dollars and an unfair regional tax on Fairfield County.

But Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi, who is testifying at the state capital today before the committee, says he would like to see tolls make a return. He says the revenue would be improtant to municipalities if the automobile property tax is eliminated.

The goal of some of the bills is to generate revenue to help reduce the state’s gasoline tax.

One proposal calls for creating a tolling system that would charge drivers various rates for driving during peak travel times or on congested highways. Vehicles would be equipped with electronic sensors.

Connecticut got rid of its highway tolls in 1985, two years after a tractor-trailer crash at a Stratford toll booth killed seven people.

Lawmakers have considered various plans to resurrect tolls in recent years.