SECOND LOOK: Tolls are not the answer

Published on Thursday, 21 February 2019 19:00
Written by Art Secondo


It wasn’t long ago when I actually believed toll stations in Connecticut would and could be the key to reducing the deficit and increasing revenue.

The governor recently announced he is in favor of having all vehicles subject to tolls and also hinted that fees could be adjusted lower for state motorists. Initially, he stated only trucks would be subject to tolls.

Former GOP lieutenant governor candidate from Southington, Joe Markley, told this columnist, “at one time people supported an idea like tolls but are finding out tolls are not the answer and will not be supported.” Collecting unpaid tolls, like the current situation in Massachusetts, said Markley, is a major headache since not everyone will have E-Z pass. “Without E-Z pass, there is no money until collected,” he stated.

Southington’s economic development director, Lou Perillo, said he’s surprised how many people have told him they planned to move out of the state. “I’m concerned about the tax consequences on business, “said Perillo who for the past 14 years has seen the town explode in new business.

And, there are those who do not use the EZ pass system. Since there are no tolls in Connecticut, E-Z pass is not sold in the state, according to officials. E-Z pass is an electronic toll collection system that allows drivers to prepay tolls, rather than stop at a toll station to pay cash. The E-Z pass works by using overhead antennas at toll stations which interacts with the tolls placed on a driver’s vehicle. The antenna reads the tag and deducts the correct toll from the driver’s account.

Interesting that Massachusetts is owed over $24 million in toll fees from out-of-state drivers. This might be repeated in Connecticut.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Southington Herald on Thursday, 21 February 2019 19:00. Updated: Thursday, 21 February 2019 19:02.