Lawmakers discuss possibility of tolls - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmakers discuss possibility of tolls

Connecticut residents have heard talk of tolls on their highways before, but this session, pressure appears to be building to bring them back. 

U.S. Rep Anthony Guerrera (D-Rocky Hill) said he believes someday we will see tolls back in Connecticut.

"The bottom line is we have to start thinking how we're going to fix our infrastructure," he said.

Connecticut has serious transportation problems that need to be addressed, but the question is how to pay for the solutions.

"It's deadly if we continue to transportation finance and continue to rely on the gas tax," said Edward Regan of CDM Smith.

More efficient cars means less gas sold, which means less gas taxes to pay for road projects.

The transportation committee heard Friday from transportation consultants on the various toll systems being instituted in states across the country.

"They're putting lipstick on a pig here," said Mike Riley of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut. "There are a lot of questions that have to be asked before this state goes into any kind of tolling operation."

Gone are the traditional toll booths with the long lines and now, new electronic systems automatically track and subtract money from toll accounts similar to the E-Z pass systems in surrounding states.

The trucking industry argued that it is already paying high taxes to maintain highways in the state.

With shrinking revenue from gas taxes are tolls in the state inevitable.

"It has to be it has to be everyone is going that way and that was the whole purpose of this informational hearing," Guerrera said.

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