Tolls Expected to Be Brought Up Again in 2017

The issue of whether Connecticut should install tolls on some of its most traveled highways is expected to be brought up again during the 2017 General Assembly's session.

“I think that we’re starting to finally realize that many of the legislators are seeing that it’s inevitable," said Tony Guerrera, the House Chairman of the Transportation Committee.

A panel assembled by Gov. Dannel Malloy in 2015 concluded that the best way for Connecticut to fund infrastructure improvements was with a new stream revenue, and tolls was one of those options.

Connecticut is one of 21 states without tolls on highways. Vermont and Rhode Island also don't have tolls.

Guerrera said if the state wants to build better highways, bridges, and ramps, then the only answer is more revenue, and tolls would collect money from out of state residents.

"It’s a fair system," Guerrera said. "You use the roads, you pay for the roads."

He said if lawmakers were to consider the installation of electronic tolls to state highways, then he would anticipate that a decrease in the state's gas tax would be its companion. He said it makes sense to raise revenue in a new through tolling, while decreasing the state's reliance on the at-the-pump tax of more than .37 cents per gallon.

“I don’t think we can phase it out completely, but I what I do think is that we can be one of the lowest in the United States," Guerrera said.

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