Tolls are Returning; but Gas Tax Could Fall


It is not official yet, but tolls are coming back to Connecticut highways.    That’s the word from State Representatives Tony Guerrera (D) Rocky Hill, and Pam Sawyer, (R) Bolton.    During the taping of this week’s Face the State, both predicted a toll bill will be passed by the legislature and Governor Malloy will sign it into law.    Guerrera is for tolls and even though Sawyer is against them, she says there aren’t votes to stop the resurrection of tolls, although the form in which they will return is still being debated.

On Sunday you’ll see both representatives presenting good arguments for and against, and Guerrera explaining how his plan for tolls would work.   Hint:  if you are looking for a job as a toll taker, you’re out of luck.     

Those who were of age in the 1980s will remember that tolls were a daily part of Connecticut driving.    Then in 1983, a truck driver plowed into the Stratford toll plaza killing seven people in a fiery disaster.   That led to an escalation of talks on getting rid of the tolls.

On Face the State this Sunday, we’ll take a quick look back at the debate over tolls that dominated the headlines nearly three decades ago.   State senators Tom Scott and William DiBella were our guests on Face the State on March 30, 1984, discussing the pros and cons of tolls.   A year later the tolls became history.

Also this Sunday, the Hanging Shad’s Patrick Scully is here to talk about his findings regarding possible legislative excess.    The Democrats lost seats in the legislature this year, so why is the legislative staff bigger?   Tune in this Sunday at 11 AM for Face the State.    Pat also writes about Face the State right here:  http://scullycommunications.com/archives/1867

Categories: Uncategorized

5 replies »

  1. I’d comment, but the stupidity coming out of Hartford and dense and never ending. Forward thinking Reps like Sawyer can only do so much against the steady drumbeat of the “progressive” minions.

    I’d like to know, at what point do the Democrats feel they will hurt Connecticut? At what point will enough be enough? Clearly they believe 3.3B$ is debt is not that point.


  2. 1. Connecticut has diverted hundreds of millions of dollars raised through taxes on fuel into the General Fund. If the state needs more money for highways they should stop taking money generated by highway users and using it for non highway expenses.

    2. Every large truck that operates in Connecticut pays our state 39.6 cents per gallon on every gallon of fuel they consume here, regardless of where they purchase the fuel. That tax will increase on July 1.l It is inacurate to say that out of state trucks don’t pay anything to Connecticut.

    3. Congress does not allow states to put tolls on existing highways.

    4. License plate recognition software at highway speeds is not reliable.

    5. Connecticut pays subsidies of $60 per day to subsidize rail programs like Shoreline East. Transit is an open artery on the Special Transportation Fund. The New Britain to Hartford Busway and the New Haven to Springfield Railway will suck the Transportation Fund dry and leave less and less for highway construction, maintenance and repair.

    6. Governor Malloy has recommended a 3 cent per gallon increase in the gasoline tax and a 2 cent per gallon diesel fuel tax making Connecticut’s fuel taxes the highest in the country.

    7. The people of this state should insist that a Constitutional Amendment be adopted to preserve transportation funds from raids by the Legislature. They simply cannot be trusted not to insert their sticky fingers into any fund not constitutionally protected.

    8. Tolls will add to the costs of doing business and the cost of all consumer products brought into the state.

    9. It has been demonstrated time and again that the imposition of tolls results in the diversion of traffic onto local roads.

    10. It is unconstitutional (restriction of Interstate Commerce) to charge a different toll for state residents than for out of staters.

    11. When the government is seeking major increases in all taxes it is inappropriate to be discussing additional “taxes” on Connecticut citizens.

    12. Border tolls lay an unfair burden on those Connecticut citizens who live near another state and who work, shop or visit there regularly while people who live more in the center of the state might rarely, if ever pay tolls.

    13. Bad idea Dennis.


  3. I support tolls on our border interstate highways. Using modern transponders, etc. will alleviate the old style toll collection stations and raise much-needed revenue to re-build our roads and bridges. Anything that can reduce the gas tax is worthwhile.


  4. As a CT resident who works in Springfield and commutes daily on RT 91, am aghast to think the State of CT thinks returning tolls to the CT borders is a good idea. Its expensive enough to live in CT, and I’m already paying taxes in both CT and MA. Tacking on daily tolls to my week-long commute will definitely make me think twice about moving to MA. If I stay in CT, I’ll definitely be curtailing discretionary spending which will only hurt the local businesses in my town, and neighboring CT towns. If there’s less money in my pocket, there will be less money to “share” elsewhere.

    There are lots of MA residents working in Windsor/Hartford area, and they too will likely curtail their spending in CT if they’re charged $10 a day to come to work. You’re not likely to see as many MA workers lunching out, or shopping in Manchester or Enfield malls. They won’t be able to afford to when their daily commute becomes more expensive.

    Unsure what some CT legislators are thinking since tolls
    cause accidents and traffic jams, and that’s the last thing I and others need when traveling 91. Traffic can already get backed up after the last Enfield exit, entering MA. Think of the gas wasted as people “sit” waiting to get through toll booths. Even with the “quick pass”, traffic slows and that slowing can cause obstructions (especially in inclement weather).

    Many CT residents travel out-of-state to vacation. Now they’ll have to pony up more money just to take the family on a road trip – to go skiing, leaf peeping, to a beach, or to any of the nearby border attractions – Forest Park, Six Flags, Basketball Hall of Fame, the Big E, etc.

    The gas tax is going to rise w/ or w/o tolls. Don’t use tolls as a possible cost saving measure, because its not. That’s been proven in the past. Tolls cost. And sometimes they “cost” human lives.


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