The plan to bring tolls back to Connecticut clears another hurdle, but whether or not it eventually becomes a reality is still up in the air.
The bill moved out of two committees, and the Department of Transportation will now study just how tolls would be implemented in the state.
The topic of tolls is quite the talker.
“The Mass Pike, at least in the last year, they’ve gone to an automated system so it’s working out well,” said Richard Brown, a salesman from Massachusetts.
He said he’s in CT three to four days a week for work.
Toll proponents say 35 to 40 percent of traffic on the CT highways comes from out of state and that they should pay their fair share.
On Thursday, the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Commission narrowly passed the governor’s plan 26-25, along party lines
“The bottom line is it's going to cost a resident in Fairfield or Trumbull easily $6 a day to commute to a job in Stamford, and then we talk about potential congestion pricing,” said Republican State Rep. Laura Devlin.
Last month, the Transportation Committee voted to approve a study on to where to put tolls in the state.
“I think we should have them. Why not, everybody does. The taxes are so high, if that’s another way to bring the taxes down I’m with it,” said Darryl Smith, of New Haven.
The Dept. of Transportation will look at I-95, I-91, and I-84 along with the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways, along with where exactly the tolls would be, how much people would pay, and how much money the state could take in, which is an estimated between $600 and $800 million a year.
A previous report for the DOT looked at potentially 12 tolls on I-95 from New Haven to the New York line, along with 10 on the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways.
Opponents say tolls are nothing more than just another tax, and they want more information on where they would go and how much they would cost.
“I can understand it, but as a traveler, as a sales guy, it’s just more money out of my pocket,” Brown said.
The bill to bring tolls back to Connecticut now moves on to the House of Representatives.
If the state legislature approves the idea, its likely tolls won’t be here until 2021.
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