Two ‘Electronic Highway Tolling’ bills filed

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Democratic Chairman of the legislature’s Transportation Committee says that now that Massachusetts has torn down their toll booths on the Mass Pike and gone to all ‘electronic tolling‘ that Connecticut should be next.

“All other states up the northeast corridor have tolling. Connecticut is the only one who doesn’t have it,” said Rep. Tony Guerrera (D-Rocky Hill). Guerrera also notes that with electonic tolling, there’s no stopping, and even if you do not have an E-Z pass device on your car they system takes a picture of your plate and sends you a bill.

Today, the Transportation Committee moved two ‘electronic tolling’ bills forward so there can be a public hearing on the issue by the end of this month.  Said Guerrera, “The gas tax is down, they know that, and there’s no other way to do it.”

It’s estimated that within ten years, half of the GM and Ford fleet in this country will be either electric or hybrid.  That means receipts from the gas tax will continue to decline and that’s the only current funding method to pay for roads, bridges, trains buses and everything else.

‘What I’m hearing is ‘no tolls, no how,’ from the general public,” says Sen. Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) who is the Republican co-chair of the Transportation Committee.   She is joined in that sentiment by several high ranking Democrats.   “They’re already taxed too much. This is a tax on our residents that have to get to work. By the way; during rush hour, so they’re going to be paying higher than anyone else,”  added Boucher.

Guerrera says the tolls can be linked to lowering the gas tax and discount tolls for people that drive I-95 into and out of New York to work everyday but opponents don’t believe that will happen.

“My question is why are we paying $300,000 on a tax that no one has any intention of passing or implementing?” asked Sen. Len Suzio (R-Meriden), a vice chair of the Transportation Committee.  Senator Suzio has a bill before this committee to stop the state funding for the study of the so-called Mileage Tax” that would tax you for every mile you travel in your car or truck.  A proposal that was suggested as another way to pay for the Governor’s $100 billion, 30 year transportation plan.

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