Room 1E of the LOB
ROOM 1E OF tHE LOB
If testifying, please be there by 7 a.m. and READ this section.
H.B.7202 AN ACT CONCERNING THE SUSTAINABILITY OF CONNECTICUT'S TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE.
H.B. 7280 AN ACT CONCERNING SUPPORT FOR TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE AND THE CREATION OF THE CONNECTICUT TRANSPORTATION FINANCE AUTHORITY.
From the House Republicans
The legislature’s Transportation Committee on Wednesday (March 6)will hold a public hearing on two different bills that would bring highway tolls back to Connecticut.
Late last year, a well-publicized study on highway tolling indicated Connecticut residents could see as many as 82 toll gantries placed on highways throughout the state. Gov. Lamont, through his two-year budget proposal, has proposed 53 toll gantries.
The hearing begins at 11 a.m. in room 1E of the Legislative Office Building (LOB.) You can testify in person. Public speaker order will be determined by a lottery system. Lottery numbers will be drawn from 7:30 to 9 a.m. in Room 2300 of the LOB. Speakers arriving after the completion of the lottery will have their names placed at the end of the speaker list. Please submit 55 copies of written testimony to the Committee staff at 7:30 a.m. in Room 2300 of the LOB. Testimony received after the designated time will not be distributed until after the hearing. Click here for tips on how to testify.
If you can’t make it in person, submit your written testimony (PDF document) via email by sending it to TRAtestimony@cga.ct.gov. Be sure to include the bill numbers in the subject line.
This is the time we need everyone to come and flood the room, and give personal testimony on how tolls will affect his or her life, family and/or business. This is our time to speak!
join us Wednesday morning and meet us at 7:00 a.m. in the lobby of the Legislative Office Building (LOB) 300 Capitol Ave, Hartford, CT 06106. Please wear RED.
If you can't make it in person, you MUST send in written testimony. Instructions for giving testimony and submitting written testimony is below.
SUGGESTED COUNTERPOINTS TO TOLLING IN CT
Provided by Neil Tolhurst
• Lamont’s budget reduces funds going to the Special Transportation Fund and changes it from having a surplus to a having a deficit...then he claims a need for tolls to fund the SPECIAL TRANSPORTATION FUND (STF).
• There is a legislative history of using Special Transportation Fund $$ for non-transportation uses. The STF “lockbox” helps but won’t protect tax $$ that go into the STF. It only protects $$ already in the STF.
• Tolls are regressive taxes that hurt low & middle income taxpayers more than high income taxpayers.
• It’s a false comparison to compare Mass tolls on only ONE of its many highways with Lamont’s plan for taxing/tolling five of Ct’s highways now, with the prospect of all of them in the future as was in the DOT proposal released in Nov. 2018. The same applies to NYS with its tolled highway, the NYS Thruway.
• Pennsylvania’s Governor is on record saying their driving taxes harm Pennsylvania businesses “The rising cost of tolls on the turnpike is “driving business away” from Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf said” https://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/14342096-74/gov-tom-wolf-rising-cost-of-turnpike-tolls-driving-business- away-from
• The extensive billing, collection, and excessive penalties problems with the private company administering the cashless driving tax system in NYS have been investigated and exposed by the Westchester County news outlet, LoHud.com
• Revenue will be reduced by high initial and on-going expenses and the need for a new bureaucracy and private vendors to administer these systems
• CT’s Transportation Dept. administrative costs are exceptionally high compared with other states
• CT’s highway construction costs are exceptionally high compared with other states
• Driving tax advocates use the “user fee” argument as a justification. If that’s a good justification non-users shouldn’t pay for government services they don’t use. Education costs paid by people not using that service is just one example.
• The public is opposed, as shown in numerous public opinion polls, legislative hearing testimony, letters to editor, social media comments & postings during prior attempts
• Driving tax advocates frequently refer to “wear and tear” of our roads to justify taxing trucks only or taxing trucks more than smaller, lighter vehicles. Do they also advocate weight based driving taxes so the lightest vehicles (small cars, motorcycles) pay little or nothing?
• The trend of declining fuel tax revenue is likely to reverse because of multi-year automotive sales and consumer preferences for larger that consume more fuel plus Ford & GM are stopping production of higher MPG sedans.
• The Trump administration’s action to rescind higher CAFÉ standards will lead to increased fuel tax revenue
• Other states are being sued because of their driving tax systems
• “The other states do it, so why shouldn’t Connecticut?” This statement is a deceptive half truth and silly analogy. Not all other states do it. Not all states that do it, do it on ALL their highways as proposed for CT eg. Mass, NYS, NH, RI. Just because someone else does something, it doesn’t mean we should also do it. Lots of parents have faced and rejected the same silly rationalization from their children: “But, all the other kids do it, why can’t I?” For tolling advocates to repeatedly use that silliness without media people challenging them about it is a travesty and a serious shortcoming of the media.
• If, and it’s a big “if” we truly need a new taxing source for the STF, using a tax system already in place will have far less overhead costs, produce revenue more quickly, and be more efficient.