TOLL WATCH: Dems’ New Argument: Don’t Worry, You’ll Get a Discount!May 1, 2018
Some Connecticut Democrats appear to believe that giving Connecticut drivers a discount on tolls will bring them on board for the new tax.
The Connecticut House of Representatives may be mere hours away from a tolls vote, and Democrats’ closing argument to Connecticut drivers appears to be: don’t worry, you’ll get a discount.
NBC Connecticut‘s Max Reiss, one of the state’s most plugged-in reporters, got his hands on a document “compiled by Connecticut Department of Transportation staff that was distributed to state lawmakers and obtained by NBC Connecticut.”
The document, Reiss reported, says:
Connecticut residents, especially commuters, would see significant discounts if an EZ-Pass system was to be implemented as the toll collection service if and when Connecticut authorizes tolls on its highways.
If tolls pass, and are implemented as the document suggests, then perhaps Connecticut drivers will ‘only’ pay a few billion dollars in effective new taxes and tolls over 10 years, rather than the $4 billion to $5 billion Reclaim Connecticut has projected. Connecticut Democrats who want tolls may be depending on that argument.
The paradox here, though, is that a discount for Connecticut drivers may fly in the face of the very bill some Democrats support. As Reclaim Connecticut noted on Monday, the bill gives the Department of Transportation authority to charge whatever is necessary to pay for highway and bonding costs.
How can the state charge whatever is necessary to pay for highway costs, and give all Connecticut drivers a discount? Toll supporters will have to answer that question, or this document promising discounts may end up feeling empty.
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