State Representative Ben McGorty (R-122) voted against a proposal to implement electronic tolls on Connecticut highways during a vote taken on Friday (March 17) afternoon in the legislature’s Transportation Committee.
The bill, narrowly approved by a vote of 19-16, aims at using the revenue generated to repair Connecticut’s aging transportation infrastructure.
“I would be in favor of the tolls if we made a deeper cut to the gas tax and eliminated other taxes and fees,” said Rep. McGorty. “There is no question that the state needs to make a significant investment in our aging bridges and roadways. However, without a legitimate ‘lockbox’ on our Special Transportation Fund, I fear the funds raised from these tolls will just be swept by the majority in the legislature and the governor for other budget items, as they have a long history of doing.”
One portion of the bill cuts the gas tax from 25 cents per gallon by 2.5 cents – not nearly enough according to McGorty. “The legislature spends a lot of time figuring out how to wrangle more money out of taxpayers,” he added. “I prefer us to find ways to give relief to our over-taxed residents.”
McGorty and other Republicans in the legislature have been pushing for an amendment to the state constitution that would protect funds deposited into the Special Transportation Fund from being raided for purposes other than transportation infrastructure upgrades – something Democrats have been unwilling to do.
The bill, HB 6058, An Act Concerning Electronic Tolls, now moves to the full House of Representatives for a vote there. This session of the Connecticut General Assembly concludes at midnight, Wednesday, June 7, 2017.