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November 8, 2019

Trucking industry slams Lamont’s tolls plan

The trucking industry didn’t waste any time condemning Gov. Ned Lamont’s latest plan to place tolls on Connecticut highways.

Lamont on Thursday officially launched his long-awaited $21 billion transportation plan that includes tolling and federal borrowing to pay for improvements to highways, mass transit, airports and ports.

Under the 10-year plan -- billed as “CT2030” -- passenger cars would be charged 50-cents to $1 on 14 bridges, with 20-percent discounts to in-state drivers with EZ pass transponders. Heavy trucks, meantime, would pay between $3.50 and $7.

Still, the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut (MTAC) in Hartford on Thursday said it remains committed to its staunch opposition to highway tolling, regardless of whether gantries are placed on certain highway lanes or specific bridges.

“As the trucking industry already pays the diesel tax, the Petroleum Gross Receipts Tax, and vehicle registration fees, tolls would be a fourth tax for the privilege of using what we have already paid for,” said MTAC President Joe Sculley in a statement late Thursday.

“Accordingly, it is hard to see how the state of Connecticut would enter into a contract with the federal government that would make the bridge tolls temporary,” Sculley added. “Because of that, the end result is that Connecticut will be left with an inefficient, self-raising tax in the form of tolls, with no chance of going back.” 

Tolling 14 bridges would generate $320 million in new annual revenue, according to CT Mirror. But it’s not yet clear how much of that revenue would come from tolling trucks.

CT2030 represents a modest tolling plan vs. others Lamont has considered throughout his year as governor.  Lamont’s original tolls plan betrayed a campaign promise to toll only trucks, which has created a lack of trust with some Republican legislative leaders.

Sculley also repeated MTAC’s assertion that out-of-state trucks do not travel through Connecticut tax free. The state collects about $25 million to $30 million in taxes/fees from out-of-state trucks annually, because of its participation in the International Fuel Tax Agreement and International Registration Program.

Earlier this year, MTAC argued the state’s trucking industry also provides about $3.2 billion in pay to its 58,400 workers annually.

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November 8, 2019

Trucks are largely responsible for the damage to CT highways. Tolls make more sense than gasoline taxes.

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