Tolling, Higher Taxes Among Transportation Funding Ideas In Connecticut

January 16, 2016

Article as it appeared on CBS New York

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Congestion tolling, a higher sales tax and increasing the state gas tax to the 1990s rate of 39 cents per gallon are among the ideas being recommended to help fund Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposed $100 billion transportation overhaul.

The report released Friday by the Transportation Finance Panel also calls for a state constitutional amendment that creates a so-called lockbox, preventing transportation funds from being spent on other programs.

The report comes as the General Assembly prepares to convene Feb. 3.

Highway tolls and a hike in the state’s gas tax, which are already among the highest in the nation, are not the way to fund Malloy’s transportation overhaul, according to Republican Sen. Toni Boucher.

Boucher is incredulous that given the exodus of General Electric such a plan could even be considered, WCBS 880’s Fran Schneidau reported.

Boucher also says for the Democratic majority to postpone the vote until after the November elections is the last straw.

“On the Republican side, we brought them a proposal we said you have current bonding capacity, in that bonding capacity there’s a $200 million contingency fund that the governor can use at will,” Boucher said.

Malloy says he doesn’t expect any of the tax increase proposals to be voted on during the new session, which falls in a legislative election year. He said lawmakers first need to pass the lockbox legislation with enough votes to put the issue before the voters in November.

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