In the Connecticut highway tolls controversy, I have not seen any evidence of offers to horse trade or compromise with the governor over the issue — only views blindly for or against. Opportunities are being missed. Someone should leverage this to get it in statutory or Constitutional law that 100% of the per gallon tax and 50-75% of the gross receipts tax be set aside for transportation funding without future diversions or removing the onerous gross receipts tax from gasoline entirely in return for approving a tolls plan.
Gas and oil distributors have the state figured out.. They raise gasoline prices when they have to and state coffers receive a temporary windfall. When they don’t, they raise un-taxed heating oil prices instead, usually without complaint from state officials.
Diversions from the Connecticut Rainy Day fund are a poor decision and some tax relief is due state taxpayers.
Let everyone pay per-axle tolls on our highways, require commercial trucks to have electronic trackers visible to state police and Department of Transportation toll collectors. These trucks should not be on secondary roads unless supported by their delivery schedules or manifests which by law are already inspectable.
Locals could avoid highways if they do not support tolls, work commuters could be exempted from tolls by registering their daily highway route with DOT, or any number of mitigation techniques.
Legislators have much to do.
Alan P. Tracy lives in Groton.