On Feb. 27, the legislature’s Transportation Committee conducted 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 disproportionately 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.
For those who could not make it to Hartford but want to have their voices heard, send an email to email@example.com and put “Say No to Tolls” in the subject line.
Sen. Boucher represents Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport and Wilton.