By DANTE TAGARIELLO
To the Editor:
Just last week, two Democratic state senators from Fairfield County, Sens. Will Haskell (Wilton) and Alex Kasser (Greenwich), have once again proposed a bill to support highway tolling.
Both senators have proposed the measure under the guise of funding our infrastructure, and apparently, they have no appetite for a myriad of alternatives available to accomplish this goal without raising taxes.
Let’s be clear: tolls are a tax that punishes the working class. We can do better.
As a result of an already fragile economy, the State of Connecticut is barely on the cusp of its pandemic recovery. According to the state comptroller, there is cause for concern. While we have shaved down our deficit to $615.2M, the state has lost a net 5.7% (96,550) of its jobs over the year. Added to that, the state’s GDP grew around 32.6% (ranked 32nd) and personal income fell by 4.4%. When it comes to our job’s recovery, we are around 64.5%. Does anyone think taxing us more is the solution? I agree with the House Speaker, Matt Ritter, the focus needs to be the budget. That’s why proposals for this session should promote efforts to streamline government making it leaner, not more bureaucratic. The priority needs to be economic relief through direct services, as opposed to setting up additional state authorities.
Ultimately, if we are ever going to recover from this pandemic, our efforts must be toward creating jobs and making our pandemic savings a long-term reality.