Can highway tolls fix Connecticutâ€™s transportation, infrastructure and fiscal woes?
Gov. Dannel Malloy seems to think itâ€™s a move in the right direction.
On Wednesday, the governor held a press conference to unveil his proposal to raise money for infrastructure repairs and road improvements across the state.
Malloy outlined several ideas including: a 7 percent hike in the gas tax, a $3 per tire fee on the purchase of new tires and implementation of electronic tolling on state roads by Fiscal Year 2023.
â€śThe combination of immediate and long term additional revenue provided by the governorâ€™s recommendations represents a solution to maintaining our commitment to operate a safe highway, bus and rail transportation network and to avoid serious deterioration of our state and municipal transportation infrastructure,â€ť state Department of Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker said.
What might nutmeggers have to say about the governorâ€™s proposals?
â€śWhat?â€ť â€śOuch!â€ť â€śNo way!â€ť may come to mind.
Anyone who travels on Connecticutâ€™s highways, over its aging bridges and across its pock-ridden roadways knows the stateâ€™s infrastructure must be maintained, upgraded and improved.
But with a state mired in a budget crisis, paying for road and bridge projects appears nearly impossible.
So, we ask, why should the taxpayers who have been footing the bill all along now be expected to hand over more of their hard-earned dollars to fund DOT services they thought they had already paid for?
No matter how the governor presents it, his proposed new revenue streams are nothing more than additional taxes on Connecticut residents.
Poor planning and apathy by former and current state officials and lawmakers has put Connecticut on the road to ruin.
This session, the General Assembly needs to map a new, bold course for the state, one that doesnâ€™t include a one-way street to taxpayersâ€™ pocketbooks.