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Fiscal Woes Resurrect Talk of Tolls in CT

Transportation officials met this week to discuss the dismal state of funding for transportation issues and how that can be rectified.

 

While the federal government teeters on the edge of a so-called fiscal cliff, the State of Connecticut stands amidst its own growing financial woes.

That, along with that fact that state highway trust funds are fast running dry, has transportation officials scrambling to find ways to avoid what could be a disaster, the Connecticut Mirror reports.

There are several major transportation projects on the table that lack the necessary funding, and with the financial conditions the way they are on both the state and federal levels, there are no easy answers where that money will come.

One answer officials are considering is bringing back tolls.

A devastating 1983 crash in Stratford on I-95 that killed seven people was the death knell for tolls in Connecticut, but the blistering recession, combined with a reliance on gas taxes that has caused gas prices to skyrocket, has put tolls once again on the table as an option.

Earlier this year, legislators brought up the possibility of bringing back the tolls. While it passed the state Senate, the House was not as supportive and the bill quickly died.

The most recent suggestion coming out of this week's forum has quickly drawn a reaction from residents around Connecticut. One Trumbull Patch reader was quick to come out against it.

What do you think? Is it time to bring back the tolls?

SuperDave December 13, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Tolls should have never been taken out. Other states have proven that modern toll systems are efficient, safe, and provide needed funding. And, in the case of 95, 91, and 84, a good portion of the funding will be provided by those who do not live in CT. Even if those folks stop using CT highways we still win as there will be less maintenance needed. But I am cynical. Deep down inside I know this "extra" cash will just be wasted by the state. But still, its the way to go.
garnetandgrey December 13, 2012 at 03:17 PM
I agree SuperDave. Place the tolls on the borders of NY, Mass., and RI. on 95, 91 and 84. That way we at least collect from the people passing through the state. If the concern is another truck accident, well, create and enforce a truck only lane for the tolls.
Tax Man December 13, 2012 at 04:08 PM
While we could add tolls do you honestly think that money given our history will not simply just be thrown into our overspending government. We would then be looking at yet another tax to fix the issue when the tolls are absorbed into the black hole. 1991 introduced the state tax in which was the cure all for CT in its fiscal woes and would drop the sales tax rate. The introduction of the state income tax was at the time CT largest tax increase ever... Most would say this was the beginning of the end as in 1992 started our decrease of manufacturing jobs by 25%. The Terminator was the number 1 movie in 1991 and you could say it is fitting to our state also at the time. Since 1991 CT has faced two recessions in which the only answer by Hartford was to raise taxes and in 1999 this ended up in another surplus that was all spent . The next was what our current Governor did in which now is the all time largest tax increase in CT. This tax increase didn't even wait for any surplus yet anticipated it as past increases have shown with a direct budgetary spending increase of about 8%. CT's leaders in Hartford are like kids in a candy store and have some change in their pockets, they just have to spend it.....Its no wonder why they are reelected with such bad economic decisions. Those they promote and spend this money on gains them their elections.
HealthyMom December 13, 2012 at 08:21 PM
My mothers best friend who was 8 mos pregnant at the time was one of the people killed in that crash in 1983, I was 2. It was such a horrendous accident, but I don't think tolls cause accidents. I think it would be well needed income. And yes create a trucks-only lane. I wonder how well the roads would be taken care of though, go to NY and you wonder where does all that toll money go? I must of gone over the Whitestone Bridge a million times and asked myself, geesh was that another pothole!!!?

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