“No tolls for regular passenger cars”- A pledge from Governor Ned Lamont back in October 2018. Fast forward a few months and residents of Connecticut are looking at the possibility of the exact opposite. Ned Lamont’s entire campaign trail entailed that only tractor trailers would be tolled; making the case that Connecticut residents would not have the burden. However, with the ongoing court battle in Rhode Island, that promise appears to only be a gateway towards getting the tolls built which will in turn, eventually lead to ordinary cars being tolled.
In a state like ours where we constantly have one of the highest tax burdens of any state in the country, the last thing we need is another tax. Do not let anyone fool you by saying tolls are not another tax. These tolls would be placed on major highways and significant routes across the state. Unlike our New England neighboring states whose highways have exits every ten miles or so, Connecticut’s roadways have exits roughly every one mile. This allows for the convenience of hopping on and off the highway to get to and from places and different towns. This advantage would be erased if tolls were to be implemented. Now instead of a convenience, we would be charged for every mile we drive and state wide trips to a nearby mall, doctor’s office, and even work would create a charge.
A review of the numbers coming from the engineering consultant CDM Smith, demonstrates that Connecticut residents would be charged for every mile driven. Additionally, we need to consider the cost to build these tolls, which is estimated at $372 million and an additional $100 million in yearly operating costs after that.
Furthermore, Connecticut residents are looking at an increase in the gas tax, and possibly on groceries and medication as well. Connecticut is an expensive state to live in already, the last thing we need is more taxes from our state government – who have made no effort to find savings or cut spending.
These tolls are just another way to into the pockets of Connecticut residents who still live, work, and wish to have a life here.
Previously published in the Enfield Press
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