Malloy Proposes Tolls, Higher Gas Taxes

News release from Governor Dan Malloy:

Governor Dannel P. Malloy today released the outline of his administration’s revenue package to stabilize the Special Transportation Fund (STF) and allow for critical investments in the state’s transportation system to take place. Implementation of the administration’s plan for the STF would restore canceled state and municipal projects across Connecticut, and would prevent drastic increases in rail and bus fares and major service reductions on Metro-North, Shore Line East, and CTtransitbus services.

Without the reinstatement of canceled projects, Connecticut’s infrastructure will fall further into a state of disrepair, making our roads and bridges less safe for residents and harming the state’s economy.

The proposal takes four specific actions in order to stabilize the STF and bring critical projects back online:

1. A seven-cent increase in the gas tax, gradually implemented over a four-year period.

2. Implementation of statewide electronic tolling beginning in fiscal year 2023.

3. Acceleration of the transfer of car sales tax by two years.

4. Establishment of a $3.00 per tire fee on tire purchases.

The STF finances the state’s entire transportation system, including the operating costs of the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) and all of the services it provides. In December, Governor Malloy reiterated and increased his warnings on the solvency of the fund following the release of a report showing that without prompt action, it will be in deficit by fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1, 2018. Earlier this month, the Governor and the CTDOT indefinitely suspended $4.3 billion in projects affecting every town across the state, including critical improvements to the I-91/Route 15 interchange on the Charter Oak Bridge, the replacement of the Waterbury Mixmaster, and the widening of I-95 from Bridgeport to Stamford.

“Investment in transportation is investment in Connecticut’s economic future,” Governor Malloy said. “But for decades, our state has chronically underfunded our roads, bridges, tunnels, and rails, and as a result our infrastructure consistently ranks among the worst in the nation. Without new revenues this year, we face a transportation cliff. We will be forced to make draconian cutbacks, affecting even routine maintenance. If we want to revitalize our urban centers and attract the jobs of tomorrow, we absolutely must ensure the solvency of the Special Transportation Fund, and we must do it early in this legislative session. We can no longer afford to wait–it’s time for action.”

“The combination of immediate and long term additional revenue provided by the Governor’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,” CTDOT Commissioner James P. Redeker said. “The additional revenue in fiscal year 2019 will relieve bus and rail riders of the potential for massive impacts to fares and service. Overall, the implementation of a growing, predictable income stream to the fund will enable the effective planning and delivery of the quality transportation system that Connecticut’s economy depends on.”

In 1997, Connecticut’s gas tax was reduced from $0.39 per gallon to $0.25 per gallon and it has not been increased since. Over the same period, rail fares have increased by 54 percent and bus fares have increased by 75 percent. And while Connecticut has refused to increase transportation revenue, 26 states–including eight in the past year–have increased their gas taxes. This isn’t limited to “blue” states; it includes GOP-dominated states like South Carolina and Tennessee. In 2016, New Jersey’s former GOP Governor Chris Christie signed a $0.23 per gallon increase in the gas tax.

“Despite big promises of a massive infrastructure package, it has become clear that the Trump administration has no plans to make real investments in our transportation system,” Governor Malloy added. “Other states have realized that they must take matters into their own hands, and we must do the same to ensure the viability of the Special Transportation Fund.”

**DownloadOutline of proposal to stabilize the Special Transportation Fund

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11 comments

  1. it’s hard Damn work staying a Democrat in Connecticut because all they ever want to do is raise my damn taxes. When is enough enough? When are you blood suckers going to say the Connecticut residents have paid enough?

    They talk about how much rail and bus fares
    Rising, but the residents of Connecticut endured those raises as well. Its not like the State of Connecticut paid those raises, people that used those modes of transportation paid those increases. Now you’re telling people on top of a 54% increase in rail fare and a 75% increase of bus fare that they are paying you have to endure additional taxes. That’s it for me Democrat’s I’m going to put my time, effort and money into a Republican candidate for governor as soon as I can find one worthy.

  2. Friends Andy and Don, the fault is not so much in our legislators as in the fact that we do not get reports that show the cost of what they have done for us and to us. I suggest that we find with bi-partisan agreement, a way of showing tax increases each year coming from new laws or regulations including programs, as well as those same increases from decisions in past years that have come to cost more than initially established. Are any legislators respectful and prudent with tax dollars? Or do they all know that the public can be told stories that can put the blame on others? Don’t we need to put more pressure on financial heads who tell us one thing but deliver another? What about an administration that supersized salary and benefits in spring budgeting so that they could find savings in the fall and winter? (You mean the reviewing party did not see the “padding in the falsie”?)
    And what about the leader who leaves stage in the first act of a pension solution (2000) when security markets had been overvalued for several years, only to lose big chunks of pension assets and lead to plan underperformance? Then this elected leader returns to town and though his plan is still alive, that fact is due only to annual ADDITIONAL Commitments of $18 Million and more (plus the $30 Million annual cost of bond repayments). Can’t cut this even with the best scissors, but you can spot where expenses changed and public had to pay.
    And what about that leader, “bridging” his initial benefit package to his current benefit package? What was the cost of this? Where is the check and balance? Where is public discussion for this unbudgeted expense and Council or referendum vote? Why didn’t Ganim2 “port” the benefits connection over a 12 year period instead of “bridging” it? Port? As in port-a-pottie? Haven’t Ganim ideas cost us enough already? Time will tell.

    1. Good comments, John! One of the state budget problems is that, several months prior to the legislature negotiating a difficult budget compromise in late 2017, the Democrat majority imprudently acted to extend the contract with state employee unions. They told us that the unions made necessary concessions, but a closer look revealed that over time those were not really concessions. Don’t Democrat legislators depend on union support for getting them elected? That early deal with the unions then tied the hands of legislators attempting to develop a rational prudent budget! The level of state taxes has clearly brought the public and the economy to the point of saturation. It’s well known that individuals and companies are leaving the state because of high taxes. Yet more taxes could fully sink the state!

  3. If Dannell Malloy and the Legislature could see past their moral hypocrisy to legalizing marijuana for recreational use the state of Connecticut ould have a budgetary surplus faster than you can roll a joint. But nooooooo, this is The Constitution State, last stand for the Blue Laws of Hllfire and Damnation. Colorado reaped a huge financial windfall after legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. God expressed His displeasure with an invasion of flying money.

    No toll roads in Colorado. Just sayin’.

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