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Connecticut Highway Tolls Under Consideration

While there are several bills pending to install tolls again on state highways, some lawmakers say the state can't be trusted with toll revenues.

With the state budget on the ropes and the cost of highway repairs in Connecticut mounting, several bills to reinstitute highway tolls in the state are making their way through the General Assembly.

But critics of the idea told the legislature's Transportation Committee on Monday that state officials can't be trusted with the money that new highway tolls would generate, according to a report today in the Hartford Courant. 

The committee held a public hearing on several bills filed this session to install tolls on state highways. State Rep. Steven Mikutel, D-Griswold, told the committee that while the state desperately needs funds to fix its highways, the money raised by tolls probably wouldn't be earmarked for that work.

"History shows you really can't trust us," Mikutel testified, according to the Courant. "The General Assembly has raided the special transportation fund before."

Legislators in so-called "border towns" in the state, such as Enfield, said they are worried residents in their communities would get hit the hardest by the tolls. But proponents said if tolls aren't resurrected in Connecticut the state's gas tax would have to increase to help pay for highway maintenance, the newspaper reported.

The state eliminated highway tolls in the mid-1980s after a tractor-trailer truck crashed into a line of cars at a Stratford toll booth, killing several people.

Richard Poulton February 26, 2013 at 05:42 PM
This is somewhat related for it deals with taxes in a round about way. The web site: www.24/7wallst.com just released it's story about the top ten taxed cities in the country. Based on medium income, property values, property mill rates and a bunch of more things and guess what. Out of the top ten, Baltimore came in at number 10. But the number one city in America to tax its residence the most is good ole Bridgeport. East Haven doesn't sound that bad now does it?
Skip Thomas February 26, 2013 at 05:44 PM
We do not need more revenue. We need less spending.
Richard Poulton February 26, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Would believe there is also talk of increasing the speed limit to 70 mph. On the TV news last week.
Steohen Haddon February 26, 2013 at 06:43 PM
agreed, less spending solves it but as far as tolls go: i was in a very bad accident at a toll on the Merrit....got hit so hard it sheared the bolts attaching the drivers seat to the frame and i mentioned a Zappa concert I went to on another thread.....the friend I went with burned to death at the West Haven toll several months after that show
Ajent Oranje February 26, 2013 at 06:53 PM
When they removed the tolls last time, they raised our taxes to make up for the shortfall. Are they going to reverse this tax? I dont think so. No tolls! We are taxed enough already, and we have enough traffic congestion!
Richard Poulton February 26, 2013 at 07:39 PM
Idiots, all of them. State Rep. Mikutel, D-Griswald, said it best, while funds derived from the tolls would go for up-keep of the states roads we all know that money will not. Right into the general fund and be divided up with all the other funds. Remember when the lottery first came out, all funds to go directly into education. How long did that last? That money will disappear into the fog of out of control spending.
Ann Della Camera February 27, 2013 at 05:06 AM
Nick I do agree, most can hardly make ends meet as it is. Toll Booths cause accidents, won't Ct ever learn?????
Ann Della Camera February 27, 2013 at 05:07 AM
Richard, well said, I can't add another thing
Pete Zuppardi February 27, 2013 at 08:51 AM
"History shows you really can't trust us"... said the wolf to the sheep...
Peter Banca February 27, 2013 at 01:24 PM
It is time to establish border tolls in Connecticut. People travel through our state using our infrastructure, and they contribute nothing to it. One way border tolls paid to enter the state would help generate revenue needed to repair our highways. We also need to learn to say "no" to excessive spending proposals.
James Dwyer February 27, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Peter, Yes, you are definitely right, border tolls would help out this state because the bridges are definitely in need of repair. Money collected should go directly to the DOT account, and not to the General Fund. Have you ever looked above your head on the conditions of the bridges on Rte 91? Ex. Murdock Bridge in Meriden. They appeared to look like the rusty railroad bridges of 1880's. There is a need for repainting of these bridges as well as checking out the strength and conditions of them. We don't these to collapse in the future. Now is the time to prepare for the future. This state has had too many out of state freeloaders passing through our state wearing down the intra structure of our highways.
Ajent Oranje February 27, 2013 at 02:41 PM
Well said Mr Poulton. I agree 100% with you here. :)
Ajent Oranje February 27, 2013 at 02:45 PM
The people that travel through the Interstates pay Federal gas taxes, which are supposed to pay for those highways. We all do. To say they travel through and contribute nothing is false. Interstate highways are maintained by the Federal government, not CT. These same "people" that travel through our state include truck drivers bringing our much needed goods and supplies and fuel from other states and ports. You really want to increase the cost of living here in CT?
Lori Fogler Nicholson February 27, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Prior to 1983 CT grossed $72.3 million in toll revenue. That year the legislature banned tolls after 7 people died in a tractor trailer accident at the Stratford toll station. Connecticut is now an open border state which means we get $ 500 million in ferderal transportation dollars. This is a no brainer for me. Even with the influx of traffic, not to mention environmental concerns and safety...I'd take the $500 million which Ct would most likely never reach in toll revenues and move on. Yes, lets cut government bloat and waste. Lets hire fraud investigators and retrieve 1.8 million per employee hired. The fox is guarding the hen house and less people are contributing and more are taking...this is the beginning of the end.
Christina Sokolosky February 27, 2013 at 05:59 PM
Speed limit should be 75mph n I support the tolls, more money, better roads n less traffic!!
James Dwyer February 27, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Christina, 75 mph is too fast for the Connecticut highways. You may want to move to Texas or out West. Most of the drivers are driving that now on our state highways. More State troopers are needed out there to enforce the speed and the safety on the highways. More speeding tickets should be given out by our state troopers to improve the public safety on our highways. Lately,I have seen plenty of careless drivers cutting in and out of traffic.Too many unnecessary accidents!
Ajent Oranje February 28, 2013 at 12:35 PM
Im sorry, but you must be 16 yrs old or something and dont remember the last time we had tolls. Tolls INCREASE traffic, does NOT give us better roads, and does NOT give us more money. The facts just dont support your claim. We made about $72 million a year with the tolls, but we get $500 million without them from the Feds to maintain the highways. And the traffic was atrocious because you had a bottleneck. Have you never driven through NYC and their tolls??
Jennifer Zambrano February 28, 2013 at 09:34 PM
No more tolls How about taking the lotto money to repair roads

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