Insanity can be defined as, “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Gov. Ned Lamont’s approach to tolls meets this definition, and is fatally flawed.
The governor’s proposed bill adds to the already excessive tax burden on the citizens of Connecticut. Its goal is to pour more and more money into the maw of Connecticut government, without any change in managing how the money is spent. In addition, it allows future legislatures to evade accountability for toll increases.
The first fatal flaw in this legislation is that it fails to make any changes in the incredibly inefficient Department of Transportation. What we should do is: 1) eliminate existing DOT work rules that create unaffordable featherbedding, 2) put all contracts out to bid allowing DOT to compete against towns, cities and private contractors (without prevailing wage clauses), and 3) adopt more modern construction techniques including the use of modular pre-cast concrete structures.
The second fatal flaw is that the setting of future toll rates will be given to an appointed commission (which will given the status of a “legislative agency”) with no accountability to voters. Who among you believe that the initial “reasonable” rates of 4.4 cents per mile during peak hours and 3.5 cents during off-peak hours will long endure? Any future changes in toll rates should require a vote of the state legislature, so citizens can hold their elected official accountable for any proposed tax increases.
The third fatal flaw is that tolls are a regressive tax, adding to Connecticut’s already excessive tax burden.
What can a concerned citizen do? Call or write to your state senator and representative and assure them that they have no chance of reelection if they vote for this fatally flawed bill. The governor knows he does not have the votes, so has called for a special legislative session and encouraged more discussion.
Make your voices heard!
James Miller, a resident of Lyme, was an investment banker at Merrill Lynch from 1984 – 1996.
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Very well stated. CT Democrats must start to reel in their addiction to spending. This plan, as described, would be a disaster for CT taxpayers. It’s a money grab, plain and simple.
These are the reasons many of us are against the tolls. I would be in favor of tolls if i trusted our state government. But too many times now they show they can’t be trusted. Just look at the newly installed passport to the parks program. Its only been around a couple of years and already they are looking to take from it. We know the same is coming for tolls
To me the definition of insanity is continuing to have Connecticut residents pay for our highways while allowing out-of-state drivers to use them for free. This is particularly insane when you consider we must pay tolls when traveling in their states. I do not understand what you mean about allowing CTDOT to compete against towns, cities and private contractors. Towns and cities do not bid on projects and CTDOT use private contractors in competitive bids to do most of its projects. Also CTDOT does use modular construction when it is appropriate and cost effective.
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