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With State Finances Hitting The Rocks, Hennessy Wants Your Take On Tolls

May 3rd, 2017 · 14 Comments · Development and Zoning, News and Events

toll image

State Rep. Jack Hennessy who represents the North End in the state legislature wants your opinion on Connecticut bringing back tolls as the state’s red ink tolls messier numbers seemingly every day. See survey here.

From Hennessy:

A couple of points to consider:
• Tolls are no longer the archaic toll booth structure of the past. They are an electronic overhang.
• Connecticut residents would have to pay a fee as well, albeit discounted.
• The revenue would offset what we currently allocate in taxes towards transportation/road and bridges repair.
• Fees from tolls is one of the few ways to capture revenue from out-of state travelers and commercial vehicles.



14 Comments so far ↓

  • charlie

    Border tolls ok. More tolls than that more people will leave the state.

    • John Marshall Lee

      I don’t like to pay more in taxes, but I do like to know that roads are well designed, maintained and improved from time to time, especially as traffic patterns change.

      Drove to Ohio two weeks ago and to Massachusetts last weekend. I paid a number of tolls but they were less important to me than the fact that I made it to my destination on good roads that supported 70 MPH speeds easily and had appropriate road surfaces coming out of the winter. Border tolls would not have CT residents who use certain major roads regularly but who do not travel out of state, avoiding a cost of upkeep.

      The overhead cameras with EZpass connect well. I want the roads maintained. Put the toll booths in the cloud. Time will tell.

  • Frank Gyure

    The fact that all bordering states have road tolls and CT does not is a questionable policy. Ct roads are heavily traveled by transportation going from mid-atlantic states(New York etc) into New England States. Connecticut shut down its tolls due to an emotional response because of accidents at the old toll booths. Other states did not have such such issues. Maybe it’s time again to create a policy that if you use CT highways,you will need to pay.

    • Frank Gyure

      BTW..I have E-Z Pass and the old toll booths are ancient history.I would rather see an increase in the state Income tax and business tax. High Income CT residents and businesses in CT are the new welfare queens. Low Income and Working people people in Ct pay a higher percentage of their income to taxes versus high income CT Taxpayers and business. Taxing policy used to be that you paid an amount that was commensurate to your income. Taxing policy is now completely upside-down

  • Milkman

    Let CT enter the 21st century. Highways and roads cost a substantial amount of money to build and maintain. There are no more freebies to be had. I want to get on I95 in Bridgeport and have a reasonable expectation of arriving in Greenwich in 30 minutes. This will only happen if there are electronic tolls (no stopping) that incorporate congestion pricing (higher prices during rush hours). Tolls, today are electronic, hardly seen by drivers on the highway. How long before CT voters wake up and see that the times are changing? Do we need another Mianus Bridge collapse before we realize that our infrastructure is antiquated and we no longer can hide our heads in the sand? Our old model of taxing gasoline is no longer realistic in our modern world of electric & hydrogen vehicles that operate on CT roadways without paying their fair way. Fairness is the name of the game when our governance is involved. Let’s stop reliving the past failures of our CT government and make real intelligent and well thought out decisions regarding transportation issues that will move our state forward for all of it’s citizens. Electronic tolls with a lockbox on legislative spending are a viable future for funding of our transportation needs.

  • Mojo

    *** Incoming & out going state tolls are needed to raise the money that the Ct. State Goverment does not seem to have to help fix and repair our State roads, parkways and highways, etc.. ***

  • Marshall Marcus

    I’m not fond of tax increases and new taxes, they tend to become permanent (such as the sales tax instituted during the Korean War that we still pay); so I much prefer user fees such as tolls. You use it you pay, you don’t use it, you don’t pay.

    The tolls on CT highways in the past ONLY were used to pay off the road construction bonds, the revenue did not go into the general fund. I would not mind new tolls if the revenue would only be used for road maintenance, BUT we know that that pipe-dream doesn’t work in CT.. Remember when the Lottery was instituted in the early 1970s? The revenue was supposed to be for additional education funding. For every lottery dollar going to education, the state cut appropriations from the general fund, no net gain for education.

    BTW>>>people find a way to avoid tolls if they want to. As a 16 year old in the days of cheap gas, I remember exiting I-95 and using the Post Road for a couple of miles to avoid toll booths. Even today, I use Westchester Airport instead of Laguardia or Kennedy to avoid the $8.50 toll on the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge (a toll I remember being 75 cents when I started driving).

  • Jimfox

    Let each city establish its own Tollway , with a 50/50 split with the DOT.
    Bridgeport has a daily traffic flow on I-95 over 165,000 cars and trucks per day. Merritt Parkway has somewhere around 110,000 cars per Day, at $2 a toll that’s $550,000 per day.

  • DC Faber

    Tolls and taxes are not fun. Heck to get to NYC/Brooklyn I take the Willis Ave/3rd avenue bridge to avoid the Triborough Bridge. Lots of people do not. I think tolls on the border and maybe even mid-state would be acceptable so long as they are the overhead camera/e-z pass ones like the West Side Highway. The state needs funds and our roads are abused by folks from other states.

  • Tom White

    Why the hesitancy about tolls? It is a user fee. Truckers may not be pleased, but they pay road use fees in other states. Democrats think of tolls as similar to a tax, so it is ok.

    Will the house democrats be doing surveys on options to reduce the budget deficit?

    Will the house democrats be taking a position on reasonable changes (the state employee unions call them concessions) to labor contracts such as increasing employee contributions to their pensions from 5% to the national average of 6%? I doubt it.

    Will the house democrats be doing a survey of constituents who would support a change to a defined contribution retirement plan?
    I doubt it. Nope. These are democrats. Tax the rich! Oh, the rich are moving out? Let’s get those tolls in place. Quick!

  • Jeff Kohut

    Tolls are not the equivalent of real economic development and actually discourage such while creating safety and environmental problems… Connecticut is a small state that will more harm to its intra- and interstate commerce — and state revenue generation — by reinstituting tolls than it will gain… I avoid tolls by any rational measure when traveling out of state… I avoid driving to NYC because of tolls, and avoid significant shopping while in NYC if I don’t have my car with me… Maybe NYC is such a driver-destination/business destination that toll revenue outweighs other opportunity costs represented by deferred driving visits, but the same cannot be said about Connecticut… We need to try to be smart about revenue generation for the state…

    • John Marshall Lee

      Tolls are one way of raising revenue.
      Toll revenues can be used to cover the expenses of designing, constructing, maintaining safe roadway infrastructure for the public.
      Toll fees that may vary depending on the day or time of travel, may also send messages about the wisdom of considering alternative routes or alternative sources of transportation.
      Economic develop is likely to occur most rapidly where “faster, better, bigger” return on your time and money is present. Failure to tax users, and still be responsible for upkeep from other fund sources is ignorant, especially when traffic slowdowns are avoided and technology keeps operating personnel expense lower than in the past. What is the objection? Time will tell.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Jeff go back to sleep

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