Toll Proposals are Irresponsible Without Further Study. Connecticut Residents Taxed Enough

January 30, 2018

Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement regarding a press conference held today by Democrat state representatives calling for the state to pass a bill to implement tolls throughout Connecticut.

“It is irresponsible to approve a law, and subject people to more fees, without understanding the magnitude of the impact on Connecticut residents. They’ve been taxed enough. I understand some people are desperate to look at tolls as a cure-all for a state that has been damaged by years of failure under Gov. Malloy and a Democrat controlled legislature. But it’s reckless to rush to approve tolls before even understanding the economics of how they would work. Everyone assumes tolls would be put on the borders; but let’s be clear, the state cannot put up border tolls. The DOT’s rough study shows that 75% of people paying tolls will be Connecticut residents. Even if approved by the federal government, feasibility questions remain. Currently, Connecticut receives more federal funding because we do not have tolls; so what happens to that funding? If people avoid tolls, will Connecticut generate enough revenue to offset the costs? If Connecticut has to toll every major route in our state to stop people from dodging tolls, how will the state afford to pay for the installation of such broad infrastructure so quickly? And how much will residents have to pay at the tolls in order for the state to generate a profit? Studies thus far are based on Connecticut adopting toll prices that far exceed toll rates in other places by anywhere between 2 to 4 times the highest rate in the country.

“Connecticut needs to consider ways to fund transportation without asking for more from state taxpayers who have already been drained enough. It’s obvious that the same people who are rushing to advocate for tolls have not read the Republican Prioritize Progress transportation funding plan which eliminates excessive use of the state’s credit card for political handouts at the same time it prioritizes funding for necessities like roads, bridges and school construction. Just because our proposal stops Democrats from taxing people more, they have already made up their minds that they don’t like it. Instead of blindly pushing for a drastic new money grab, I wish lawmakers were more focused on getting answers and considering solutions that would be less painful for Connecticut residents.”