Transportation Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5046

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE SUSTAINABILITY OF TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS.

Vote Date:

3/23/2018

Vote Action:

JOINT FAVORABLE Change of Reference to Finance, Revenue and Bonding

PH Date:

3/14/2018

File No.:

Disclaimer: The following JOINT FAVORABLE Report is prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and does not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose.

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Governor's Bill - Representative Aresimowicz, 30th District; Representative Ritter, 1st District; Senator Looney, 11th District; Senator Duff, 25th District

Senator Duff

REASONS FOR BILL:

Authorizes DOT to (1) construct and maintain electronic tolling systems on state highways or contract with a toll operator to do so and (2) enter into tolling agreements with the FHWA and other government entities in order to fulfill its toll-related responsibilities. Allows DOT to charge tolls, and set and modify toll rates, in amounts sufficient to pay, at a minimum the highway operation and maintenance costs and debt service on any bonds issued for the tolled highways.

Includes various provisions related to toll implementation, including toll collection and enforcement, data privacy, toll system interoperability, and outsourcing.

Requires that toll revenue go into the STF and be used in accordance with federal tolling laws.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Governor Daniel Malloy (support) – I have also proposed critical, short-term budget recommendations to address the immediate need for additional revenue in the Special Transportation Fund (STF) those strategies are insufficient for confronting our overall transportation funding issues. The STF is in dire need of a new, reliable revenue stream in the out years. Declining gasoline consumption leading to diminishing gas tax revenue, falling oil prices, and increasing debt service have accelerated this need for additional funding in the STF.

Our surface transportation infrastructure continues to deteriorate, with massive improvement projects looming in the near future. Although Connecticut has made significant progress over the past seven years, if we do not maintain our current momentum the state will very quickly lose that progress and fall behind again.

Every state along the I-95 Corridor and the Atlantic Coastal utilizes tolling, every state except Connecticut. That puts our state's infrastructure at an inherent disadvantage. In that most out-of-state drivers pass through the state without filling their gas tanks, the need for tolling revenue becomes even starker.

The 21st century tolling system infrastructure is far different than the tolls Connecticut discontinued in the 80's. There would be no toll booths, no stopping to pay, no need to carry cash. Motorists would be able to drive at regular speed and would automatically be charged through an electronic transponder in the car, or, lacking such transponder, they would be sent a physical bill in the mail.

Connecticut has been accepted into a federal pilot program that authorizes the State to implement tolling without losing any federal funding.

Toll rates would be comparable to or below the rate of our neighboring states.

Tolling will ensure a reliable revenue source for the long-term. It will enable the state to avoid harsh service cuts and fare increases to bus and rail services in the future, avoid the further deferment of critical infrastructure project, and afford the major, crucial capital infrastructure investments that must be made to keep Connecticut competitive.

Without electronic tolling, Connecticut will be unable to adequately address our ailing infrastructure which would have significant impacts on our future economy and quality of life. They would be a new toll in Connecticut's toolbox at a time when our transportation infrastructure needs outstrip our ability to make absolutely necessary investments.

Commissioner Redeker - Department of Transportation – The authorization to enable tolling in Connecticut is an essential tool to support the long-term sustainability of the Special Transportation Fund (STF) that supports the operation and capital investments critical for the Transportation infrastructure in the State.

This bill addresses the long-term funding needs. It is essential that the immediate focus be to address the additional revenue needs of the STF beginning in July 2018.The budget adopted for the current biennium does not provide adequate revenues to support highway, bus and rail services in the state, and reduces bonding to $600 million, or half of the capital funding needs to meet minimum investments in our highways, bridges, bus and rail infrastructure. Without additional revenues in July 2018 the Department will be forced to implement unprecedented bus and rail fare increases and service cuts that will impact hundreds of thousands of commuters in Connecticut and cause irreversible damage to the state's economy.

In addition, the Department will also continue to indefinitely postpone over $4 billion of essential capital investments over the next five years. Due to inadequate revenue in the STF, to date, the department has postponed approximately $400 million of projects in FY 2018 that were programmed for implementation. The impact on the consultant and construction industry in lost jobs is staggering.

I urge immediate action by the Legislature to supplement the STF with additional revenue to avoid the impacts to critical services and restore basic investments in our transportation infrastructure.

Out-of-state vehicles do not contribute their fair share of the costs of the system; they do cause increased congestion and wear-and tear-on our roads and bridges. Approximately 30 percent of all vehicles in Connecticut are out-of-state vehicles. If Connecticut implements tolls on our limited access highways, out-of-state motorists could pay over 40% of the total toll revenues generated. For the first time, out-of-state motorists could pay a major proportion of the toll revenues due to discount and frequent travel programs for drivers using a Connecticut toll pass.

Implementing tolls in Connecticut will not result in reducing current federal funding for our roads and bridges. We have written assurances from the Federal Highway Administration that guarantees current funding. Therefore, implementing tolls in Connecticut in accordance with Federal Highway Administration guidance, can provide a much needed, new source of revenue for the STF that is premised on a fair and equitable sharing of costs by Connecticut and out-of-state car and truck drivers.

Wants to highlight that the proposal to toll Connecticut highways will utilize all-electronic tolling systems that do not require drivers to slow down or stop. There would be no toll booths, no stopping to pay, no need to carry cash. Motorists will be able to drive at regular speed and would automatically be charged through an EZ-Pass transponder in the car or, lacking such transponder, they would be sent a physical bill in the mail.

Connecticut has already been accepted into a federal program that authorizes the state to implement tolls without losing any federal funding. It is reasonable and fair for Connecticut to implement tolls, like every other state along the east coast to help pay for the transportation infrastructure.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Mr. Carl Ornowski (Trumbull) - Establish a totally electronic toll system Residents of CT have been paying high toll rates on NJ Turnpike for over 50 years. It's time non-residents, and non- resident truckers, pay for the use of our roadways.

Modern advances in technology allow totally electronic billing of toll fees, such as EZ Pass. Monitoring cameras must be established at all entrances and exits of roadways. All vehicles registered in the great state of Connecticut should be excluded.

Rick Dunne, Executive Director, Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments – For tolling to successfully support Connecticut's transportation infrastructure and operations, it is imperative that a separate and independent authority be established to construct, maintain and operate BOTH, specific transportation facilities and an electronic tolling system in Connecticut and completely segregate generated revenues from the general fund to be used exclusively for transportation operations and maintenance.

The authority envisioned under SB 389 would: (1) Oversee construction, operation and maintenance of transportation facilities and toll systems on designated highways, and (2)

Ensure that revenues generated by tolls are held separately from General Government, cannot be comingled with other funding sources and are restricted to specific transportation purposes as allowed under current federal regulations.

Additionally, the Authority should be empowered to enter into partnerships with private entities and issue revenue debt under its own authority without the backing of the taxpayers of the State of Connecticut.

The Legislature would be well-advised to step back from this Executive Branch function and limit its own involvement to legislation and oversight. It should NOT try to manage the system through prescriptive governing statutes and should not try to control a majority of the Authority Board. To this end any tolling Authority legislation should empower each elected Governor to appoint the Chair and Executive Director of the Authority.

Donald J. Shubert - Connecticut Construction Industries Association Inc. – CCIA supports because the existing revenues streams sustaining the Special Transportation Fund cannot keep pace with the State's mounting transportation needs. Implementing electronic tolling in Connecticut can help fill a growing gap between current revenue streams and much needed transportation investments. It is important to note that tolls will not address the current revenue shortfall … as they cannot be implemented quickly and may be part of a longer term strategy.

Connecticut's transportation network is a vital system that boosts and sustains the entire state economy. Three critical factors are simultaneously converging, any of which independently, will drive the STF into insolvency:

The current revenue streams cannot keep pace with the escalating operating costs and debt service

The costs to meet system demands are significantly increasing with additional new transit service operating costs coming on line and a series of railroad and highway mega projects on the horizon

There are strong indications that federal funding is not going to support the large share of Connecticut's transportation investments as it has in the past.

Connecticut needs to develop new revenue streams just to maintain its current transportation systems in to the future. Establishing electronic tolls could be part of a combined long-term revenue stream to sustain the transportation systems Connecticut needs.

other states and not having corresponding tolls collected in Connecticut. The consequence is I pay tolls to support the infrastructure of other states' toads and bridges while out-of-state travelers coming through Connecticut get a free ride on me.

In what is supposed to be a hi-tech state, how far behind does Connecticut have to fall before it comes to its senses and installs up-to-date toll technology as a source of income like our neighboring states.

Nate Brown, on behalf of Operating Engineers Continuing Political Committee, Local 478 – Hamden -representing nearly 3,000 heavy equipment operators and support staff throughout Connecticut - A fully functional transportation system is essential to Connecticut's economic prosperity and to state government's fiscal stability. This bill could provide the state a long funding mechanism to rebuild Connecticut's crumbling infrastructure and could help fix to the current revenue shortfall problems with the Special Transportation Fund (STF) when implemented properly.

Neither the financial structure, established in 1980s, nor the revenue streams currently available to support STF, are sufficient to meet currently scheduled operational capital expenses. Operational expenses and debt service requirements have increased to the point that current revenues are not adequate to support an STO bond sale. Connecticut's currently inadequate transportation-related revenue streams, combined with changes in federal transportation policy, have had a severely negative impact on the State's ability to maintain transportation systems and services.

Out of state cars, buses & trucks no longer help defray the high cost of maintaining our crumbling infrastructure. The public must be made aware of the simplicity of the EZ pass systems and we must be assured that if tolls were to be implemented in Connecticut that the funds will be used only for transportation projects. Polling shows that Connecticut's residents will support tolling, if properly implemented.

Connecticut needs to face the reality that we can no longer afford transportation costs by collections from the gas or gross receipts taxes. We must be fair, use the newest in twenty-first century technology and we must act promptly.

James L. Fuda, Past President and Director on behalf of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Connecticut (ACEC) - Many changes are needed to make our state's economy healthy, making Connecticut an attractive place for business and our younger population both of whom are leaving the state in ever-increasing numbers. These fundamental reasons cause ACECs continued support in a continued and timely investment in transportation which is critical to advance and sustain our economy for the near and long term.

We support electronic tolling as one modern mechanism to help fund our critical and urgent transportation needs. It is an essential step towards addressing our transportation funding problems. The technological advances afforded by electronic tolling have improved the ability to tailor tolling to our individual needs and concerns. As engineers and businesses directly involved with the design, implementation and benefits of such systems in other states, we understand the value funding from electronic tolling can bring to Connecticut.

This funding source should be used and dedicated solely to improving our transportation system in a “lock box” manner.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Harry Fisher (Greenwich): Connecticut has the 10th highest administrative costs for road and bridge construction – an appalling statistic. For a long time the legislature has raided transportation funds to pay for other priorities. Now instead of reducing those so – called priorities, it wants to tax us more. Yes, tolls are a tax. When will our legislators wake up that taxes are ruining our state? People and businesses are leaving.

If the intention is to capture that revenue, then we only need tolls placed in the center of the state to catch them as they traverse. Why spend millions on multiple locations?

The most important point is why should the citizens of Connecticut approve giving the government more money in the form of new taxes when it has done such a poor job with all the taxes it collects now?

Southwest Connecticut is fed up with Hartford attacking our livelihood and wallets. Time to stop!

Senator Michael A. McLachlan – Our residents are already one of the highest taxed citizens in the United States, and tolls would just be another tax they would have to pay in addition to the income, sales and gas taxes.

The establishment of The Connecticut Transportation Authority would create a quasi-public state agency that would be in charge of construction, maintaining, and operating electronic tolls on our highways. They would also be in charge of the rate for the tolls, which could be dynamic toll rates. This would allow state bureaucrats that are not elected or held accountable to tax payers, the ability to decide tolling operations and price rates in the state.

According to the Department of Transportation, in order for the state to even break even or make a profit, toll rates must be between 10 cents and 20 cents per mile. If this was to pass, Connecticut would not only have one of the highest gas taxes in the nation, but they would also have one of the highest toll rates.

It is evident that tolls would just be an additional tax to the residents of Connecticut who are taxed enough and this would add to the financial burden that many of our families are facing.

HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE – Very vocal in their opposition to tolls. They believe that it would be yet another tax on the already overtaxed citizens of our state. Concerned with how any tolling scheme would be implemented and what it would actually cost our state and its residents. Before they could consider supporting tolls, concerns need to be addressed and they would expect a plan which would contain most –if not all – of the following components:

Dollar-for-dollar reduction in the gas tax

A comprehensive plan for tolls

Taxpayer funding of inefficient mass transit and administrative costs reduced.

A cap placed on project spending

A commitment to regain control of DOT

An airtight lock box adopted.

Senator John A. Kissel - Strongly opposed to the proposal of tolls. There are many unknowns about the installation of tolls and how this would impact our daily commute.

Some would argue that we need to toll the out of state residents, according to a Department of Transportation study 75% of the people paying for the tolls would be Connecticut residents like you and me.

We must examine ways to fund transportation without asking more from state taxpayers who are already taxed too much.

Clark Barrineau, Director of Membership and Operations – Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates – A grassroots group formed to educate the public about the negative impacts of tolling and advocate against public policy that would toll existing interstates. They believe:

Any lawmaker concerned with fiscal responsibility and social equity will reject tolls in Connecticut

Tolls cause major safety issues for adjacent, secondary roadways

Tolls waste taxpayer funds

Tolls put power and money in the hands of contractors and corporations, not taxpayers

Placing tolls on existing interstates will cause traffic diversion, hurt everyday drivers, and waste taxpayers dollars, and

Any effort to make tolling easier is an effort to hurt Connecticut's future.

Samuel S. Gold, AICP, Executive Director, Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments - RiverCOG believes it is premature to create an authority for the implementation of tolls or to authorize CTDOT to collect tolls. The General Assembly should first decide to again implement tolls on Connecticut highways before committing to a specific entity to collect tolls.

Has there been an analysis of why a new authority would be desirable over the empowerment of CTDOT to collect tolls?

Why would legislation require the use of a private operator for the toll system so early in the process?

What would prevent an authority from collecting tolls in an efficient and competitive manner?

The structures of the Connecticut Transportation Authority and Connecticut Governor?

Since tolls are akin to a taxes and spending of tolls akin to appropriations, shouldn't the General Assembly have more of a role?

Federal law gives municipal chief elected officials a seat at the table when making decisions on federally funded projects. Why not give municipalities who are affected by the tolled highways a voice over tolls, toll operations, and toll financed projects?

How will loss of federal aid affect Connecticut's economy as residents and businesses continue to pay federal gas taxes and pay tolls?

How much out of state revenue would tolls bring to Connecticut?

What will the role of the state's Councils of Governments be after tolls are implemented?

Will the CTDOT still own Connecticut's tolled highways, how will ownership be transferred to the transportation authority?

If ownership is transferred, could a toll authority sell or lease the state highway to a private entity?

Why do these bills not give the authorities eminent domain powers?

Will the authority contract with CTDOT for condemnation?

River COG looks forward to being a partner with the General Assembly and CTDOT as we move forward in the study and debate over tolls in Connecticut.

Mark & Virginia Harger, Shelton CT - Feels additional tolls would be a financial burden that would limit commerce within the state, negatively affecting the cost of delivering goods and services and ultimately affecting the State's already weak economy. They also are opposed to any proposal to increase railroad fares and to create a Transportation Authority that would not be accountable to voters in our state.

John –from tratestimony@cga.ct.gov - Connecticut's government is already too large, too expensive and ineffective. Do not support the creation of a CT ineffective. Further, a Transportation Authority would be made up of political appointees and have no or very little legislative oversight. The Authority would be able to do things like add tolls to CT roads without public debate, or House and Senate vote. The Authority would also be able to raise the cost of tolls, railroad, gas, diesel, all without one bit of input from state residents of elected officials who are re the voice of CT voters.

Carol Platt Liebau, President of Yankee Institute – Opposes tolls in the strongest terms. Tolls are user fees and – in theory – user fees can make more sense than other kinds of taxes, tolls should be an absolute non-starter in Connecticut.

Cost would be borne by those who travel the farthest to work. The Brookings Institution noted, proximity to employment has fallen more for the poor and minorities than for anyone else.

Tolls would not be cheap – could add $240 to a working person's monthly budget.

How do those who support tolls justify asking for even one cent more of our money when state government has been such a poor steward of what we have already given it.

Even if we were inclined to favor tolls – which we do not – this legislation contemplates a regime under which unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats would have the power to set toll rates – in other words, to tax the people of Connecticut. In fact this bill would have toll rate-setting explicitly protected from oversight by any elected official.

That is nothing more than taxation without representation. Our nation's founders had some very strong views on that subject – and Yankee Institute shares them. Such a regime reeks of contempt for the democratic process. It's an overt attempt to take people's money, tucked out of sight and shrouded from accountability. It cannot be condemned strongly enough.

Shelley Michelson, Stamford – Adamantly opposed. If our duly elected representatives do not advocate for us and instead a faceless bureaucracy with no accountability makes these decisions (which we know will not be in our wallets' best interest) the state can expect more outmigration and less revenue. Our service is severely lacking. There must be a better way to run a railroad. And tolls? And congestion pricing? Are we suicidal? No Transportation Authority!

David & Patricia Smith), Enfield Connecticut – We do not support the bill. We are being taxed to death!!!!

Stephen G. Sniffin - Our world today suffers from a severe lack of accountability and personal responsibility in my humble opinion. That being said I respectfully request that we, of the Nutmeg State, refrain from the creation of yet another layer of bureaucracy with no accountability to their constituents.

I am a retired professional truck driver and as such intimately aware of the frustrations of having to answer to layer upon layer of wasteful inefficiency which serves only to obfuscate my ability to perform my duties in a timely and efficient manner. Please, stop the madness and attempt to bring common sense to bear.

Tristan (Meriden, CT) – Against the creation of a transportation authority as well as against the creation of tolls. I do not believe we should give unelected individuals the power to tax, that is taxation workout representation plain and simple. Against tolls, mainly due to the fact that this will cause a huge tax burden to people trying to make a living wage in this state.

Karen Banks - Vote No on this bill that seems to pass on decision making responsibilities to unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats.

Deborah R. Hoyt, President and CEO - Healthcare At Home – Represents 65 State-licensed and Medicare-certified home health and hospice agencies that provide cost-effective, person-centered healthcare for Connecticut's Medicaid population in their homes and SAVE the State of CT General Fund $103-Million each year by keeping Medicaid clients out of institutionalized care.

Adding electronic tolls on Connecticut highways will result in additional employee reimbursement costs to home health agencies. Any new costs will negatively impact these agencies who have been struggling to survive due to inadequate Medicaid reimbursement rates for more than 10 years while state regulatory burdens related to caring for the Medicaid population have increased.

Please consider the unintended consequences of state highway tolls on the businesses and employees who serve CT residents in all 169 towns by traveling each day bringing lifesaving services to people at home.

Francis R. Pickering, Executive Director, Western Connecticut Council of Governments

They are concerned by the approach being taken by the proposed tolling bills, which would take steps towards a significant increase in the financial burden borne by households and businesses in the state, without any analysis of how large that burden would be, whom it would affect, or what impacts would there be on the economy. Moreover, all the bills would delegate rate-setting – how much would be collected, and from whom – to either a state agency or a to-be-created quasi-public. This is an unconventional arrangement for Connecticut and one that raises questions regarding accountability, transparency, and financial responsibility. The proposals that have been circulated may be equivalent to a multi-point increase in the state income tax for middle-class households.

As drafted, the bills would empower an unelected body, with unclear accountability, to raise an unspecified but presumably large amount of revenue from persons and businesses in the state. This arrangement raises numerous questions beyond ones of good governance.

What will the impact of tolls be on the state's economy?

Who will be affected by tolls?

How will the impact of tolls on low and moderate income households be mitigated?

How much will it cost to build, operate and maintain a toll system?

Have alternatives to tolls been evaluated?

Will tolls have any effect on federal transportation funding?

Is and will the toll system envisioned for Connecticut continue to be federally compliant?

How would Connecticut tolls interact with those of other states?

West COG is encouraged by your work to ensure that transportation continues to be funded in Connecticut. However, until answers are found for the above questions, we must reserve our judgement on tolls and cannot support the proposals before you.

David McGuire, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut (ACLU) - The implication of all tolling bills have serious privacy issues. All these bills must include privacy provisions to be followed should an electronic tolling system be established and implemented.

Require DOT to develop and implement a privacy policy and protocol relating to toll customer information and other data that is collected, received, maintained, archived, accessed and disclosed by the department to a toll operator.

Prohibit, with some exceptions, the sharing or sale of toll customer information and exempt toll customer information from the Freedom of Information Act except under specific circumstances. It would prohibit using or sharing captured plate data for purposes other than the DOT's operation of the electronic tolling system and prohibit preserving the data for more than forty-eight hours, unless there is a request by law enforcement to preserve the data for longer.

Allow law enforcement to have access to toll customer information in certain situations, including when there is a missing person report. It would require the DOT to preserve data when a law enforcement officer swears under oath to a statement demonstrating a reasonable and articulable suspicion that a crime has been or is being committed or that a person is believed to be missing, and that such captured plate data is relevant and material to the criminal or missing persons investigation described in the sworn statement.

Allow a law enforcement agency to obtain toll customer data by warrant.

Require the DOT notify a customer ten days prior to the release of their date in response to compulsory process.

Suggest that the committee amend Section 3 (24) of SB 389 to require that the privacy policy of the Connecticut Transportation Authority develops and implements include these components.

The ACLU would be happy to work with the committee on language for the additional privacy protections. They further encourage the committee to make the aforementioned changes to the bills to protect the privacy of those traveling in Connecticut.

Bob Hamilton – Member, Motor Transport Association of Connecticut and the American Trucking Association Connecticut State Vice President - Passing tolls in our state will create significant concerns for the trucking industry.

Our fleet and the trucking industry already pay fuel taxes and registration fees. Tolls will bring a significant economic change for zero return.

Unsure as to where the funds will be spent. Will it be 100% for our infrastructure or will it find its way into the general fund.

Every person purchasing goods will find the costs increase as the tolls will not be able to be absorbed by the trucking industry

Grocery retailers are facing a very challenging struggle with virtual sellers such as Amazon. Tolls would put them at a further competitive disadvantage.

Tolls will force trucks to local roads creating congestion in areas that can ill afford the added traffic.

Their company - Bozzuto's – in 2017 paid the state IRP tractor registration fees of $378,000. In 2017 we paid Connecticut $868,901 in fuel tax. A total of $1,246,901 to operate out fleet in the state of Connecticut.

Recommended that a closer look into how the funds are being spent. Similar to every other business in Connecticut, reviewing ways to reduce expenses is on the agenda.

Joseph R. Sculley – Motor Transport Association Of Connecticut, Inc. – Believes the public has not received all of the important information about the potential implementation of tolls in Connecticut. There have been some inaccurate statements made about tolls potentially being implemented. The inaccurate claims have been about gas taxes, congestion pricing and diverting toll revenue away from the highway that is tolled, among other points.

Gas Tax Not 25 cents per gallon – gasoline tax is created from a two-tiered system. Tier one is the excise tax of 25 cents per gallon, tier two is based on the Petroleum Gross Receipts Tax of 14.3 cents per gallon, for a total gasoline tax rate of 39.3 cents per gallon.

Can't Have Toll Like Other States – Federal law currently prohibits Connecticut from installing fixed-rate tolls on our highways.

Congestion Pricing Plans Not Like Other States – Congestion pricing exists on interstates in other state because a new, express lane was built. Only the new lane(s) are tolls. Drivers have an option whether to use the toll lanes or stay on the toll-free lanes when the tolls get too high.

Implementing Tolls Would Cost State – Transportation Panel reports show that CT would have to spend $373 million to set up tolling system for all of the proposed tolls.

Toll Revenue Can Be Diverted, Motorists Used As Piggy Bank – Toll proponents claim that federal law restricts toll revenue from being spent on anything other than the road which is tolled. The Value Pricing Pilot Project allows toll revenue to be diverted from the highway which is tolled once pilot project operating costs have been covered.

Exorbitant Penalties – Section 8 allows penalties of “one hundred dollars for each violation ….” Could a driver who goes from the NY border to New Haven, who hits 12 toll gantries but never receives the bill, he charged penalties of $100 X 12 for $1,200

Unintended consequences – Tolls have been pitched as a way to get revenue from out of state drivers. If tolls are implemented, commuters and small businesses in Connecticut would be subject to them every day. Perhaps more realistically they would be forced off the highway by the high tolls since that is the goal of congestion pricing. Out of state drivers, who only use CT highways occasionally, would likely not be greatly disadvantaged by high tolls.

MTAC agrees that congestion is a problem, and is a hindrance to interstate commerce. However, a regressive, discriminatory tolling scheme that is designed to force motorists off the highway via expensive tolls is not the answer.

The Special Transportation Fund is funded almost entirely by highway users. CTDOT regularly states that 60% of its operating budget is used for paying transit subsidies. This is not sustainable. The transit subsidies for seldom-used buses needs to be reduced in one way or another.

Reported by: Mary Anderson

Date: April 2, 2018