Senator Boucher Decries Narrow Passage of Toll Bill

April 5, 2018

Hartford – State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) said today’s passage of a bill to install tolls on Connecticut highways would continue the Malloy Administration’s legacy of placing higher and higher taxes on state residents. The legislature’s Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee approved by a narrow vote passage of House Bill 5046, An Act Concerning the Sustainability of Transportation Projects.

“I believe that, in fact, this bill would represent one of the biggest tax increases – after two of the largest tax increases –  in our state’s history. I cannot underscore that enough,” Sen. Boucher said. “It is a tax . . . on top of the most burdened tax state in the country.”

Sen. Boucher said House Bill 5046 gives far-reaching powers to the state Department of Transportation. She compared the authority the department would have on tolls to the authority it presently has on state rail and bus service.

She also noted that 70 percent of toll money collected would come from Connecticut drivers and the bill before the committee contains no provision to reduce other taxes.

“Nowhere in this legislation does it say, ‘Well, we’re going to take out the gas tax or we’re going to cut it in half so it won’t be such a burden on Connecticut residents,’” she said. “And by far those most affected would be those at the bottom of the economic ladder. They would be the ones required to get to work at rush hour congestion times.”

Sen. Boucher said the addition of tolls to Connecticut highways gives businesses and taxpayers another incentive to leave the state.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives. Sen. Boucher said she will work to gain support among her colleagues to defeat the measure.

Sen. Boucher is a member of the Finance Revenue & Bonding Committee. She represents the communities of Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.