To the Editor:
On Monday, Feb. 27, the legislature’s Transportation Committee will conduct a public hearing on bills proposing tolls and congestion pricing on Connecticut highways. You may know that I have been a longtime opponent of tolls. The main reason I oppose them is because tolls are just another tax on Connecticut drivers and they are taxed enough already.
The legislators who propose tolls fail to say that the individuals who will be hurt by tolls most are middle class and low-income workers. When congestion pricing is added into the equation, the burden is compounded. Average workers cannot dictate their work schedules and will be the ones forced to pay the higher, congestion prices, which essentially amounts to a pay cut for them.
Other problems with putting tolls on Connecticut highways are:
- Connecticut drivers will be disproportionally impacted
- Drivers trying to avoid tolls will increase congestion and wear-and-tear on local roads
- Implementing tolls could jeopardize federal funding
- Tolls don’t guarantee a reduction or elimination of the gas tax
- Toll funds are not guaranteed to be spent on transportation
- The cost of food and other merchandise delivered on toll roads will increase
- Danbury Fair Mall and other border community merchants could lose business
- Installation of new, electronic tolls will be incredibly expensive and take years to complete
I know the majority of my constituents opposed tolls in the past, but as co-chair of the Transportation Committee, I cannot testify or submit written testimony on bills that come before the committee. However, you can submit testimony and let other legislators know that tolls are a bad idea for Connecticut.
Monday’s public hearing takes place at 11 a.m. in room 2C of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. If you are able to testify in person, you can sign up to speak in the morning before the hearing. For those who cannot make it to Hartford but want to have their voices heard, send an email and put “Say No to Tolls” in the subject line.
Together we can put an end to this proposed tax on Connecticut drivers.
Senator Toni Boucher
Senator Boucher is a Republican representing the 26th Senatorial district, which includes Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport and Wilton.