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Trumbull Resident Opposes Tolls for Connecticut

Louis Bevilacqua ran for Trumbull's seat in the state House of Representatives.

We are at a fiscal tipping point in Connecticut. I would be against the reintroduction of tolls. If you demand new streams of revenue without coming to understand why they cannot balance the budget with their current levels or without a 25 year plan, you are rewarding fiscal incompetence.

Tolls were removed in the late 80's as the result of public safety and environmental concerns.  A tragic accident occurred in Stratford in 1983, when six motorists lost their lives while waiting to pay the nominal fee.  This prompted a backlash against that form of revenue and ensured the political willpower to remove them under the auspices of the State Legislature and Governor William O'Neill.

The reason they enacted the Income tax was they argued they needed more funding because the tolls were removed. To bring the tariffs back also undermines that good faith. Once you put tolls back, once you incure that cost, you will increase our traffic problems, the result of poor long range planning, and you will never get rid of them again.

The legislative proposal, advanced by Ms Dillon, a health and human services advocate, will be referred to committee.  Many health and human service programs in the state have been experiencing budgetary shortfalls in recent years and have grown exponentially in cost since their enactment.

Many of the programs, which have not achieved their ends, were proposed by the same Pat Dillon. Our structure is supposed to be strong enough to prevent such ludicrous proposals from gaining passage. She tried needle exchange, now can we exchange her for real leadership.

Among the questions which should be resolved prior to bill HB-5125, making it through transportation committee are: Where would such tolls be placed, as the old plazas were removed nearly thirty years ago;  How might the individual representatives appeal a tariff increase and how much will these tolls be set at?  

Tolls in the past were a primary source of revenue.  At that time, the costs of government were significantly lower, and even without an Income tax, Indian Gaming, bottle deposits, lower administrative fees and less in federal aid, the State balanced its budget.  Such a measure should only be considered in dire situations. There are no estates left in which to tax.  We are literally painting ourselves into a budgetary corner, and once these monies are exhausted, we will be bankrupt with millions coming due in bonding, what then?

Some potential revenue generator sources, including the proposed sales tax on ammunitions, achieve public policy directives, while raising monies, and this I support. I will turn to my extensive network of public official contacts to oppose this dangerous measure, if need be.

Louis Bevilacqua

Rob Tedesco January 18, 2013 at 06:32 PM
I don't disagree with the viewpoint, but to write an article about tolls which cites a 1983 traffic accident, and not at least address the impact of new technology (e.g., speed-of-traffic, RFID-enabled systems) seems incomplete if not irresponsible. I'm not saying technological advancements in this area are panacea, but I am saying they need to be aknowledged and their merrits weighed.
Jim Flynn January 18, 2013 at 06:56 PM
So far two people, Louie and Penkoff, have been the primary antagonists to this proposal. While I originally thought the proposal was absurd, if one measures the value of an idea by the people opposing it, this proposal may have some merit!!
John Kriz January 18, 2013 at 10:15 PM
I've driven from Trumbull to Texas and Colorado many times over the past 12 years. After leaving NJ, I drive all the way to Houston without one toll. On part of the circle route around Houston there are three tolls, but no plazas. You don't slow down, but pass under overhead cameras. Local residents have an electronic toll tag on their cars. Those without a tag, like me, are sent a bill in the mail a few days later. There is no extra charge. The same is true of 470 outside of Denver. If tolls are restored in CT, they should be completely electronic and not require plazas, thus removing the safety concern and the need for manned tollbooths. Whether or not we should have them as a means of obtaining tax revenue from out-of-staters that do not pay to use our roads, as well as from our own residents, is a political and economic argument with many conflicting opinions.
will willy January 23, 2013 at 03:10 AM
Oh come on! I've traveled through MA, NY, NJ, DE and other states in recent months and witnessed the long lines at toll plazas. All people don't use the EX Pass and they never have. Let's not spend 100s of millions in CT to built toll plazas in hope everyone will speed through them.
will willy January 23, 2013 at 03:12 AM
That's a pretty thin argument. Actually, that's no argument at all. I highly recommend you register for a college-level logic course.
will willy January 23, 2013 at 03:13 AM
So, you broke the law by going through the tolls without paying and they sent you a bill. Ha! Ha!
will willy January 23, 2013 at 03:14 AM
I'm sure all of us "millionaires" in Connecticut would be happy to pay fifteen dollars every time we entered the Connecticut Turnpike. Not!
will willy January 23, 2013 at 03:16 AM
What the heck are you taking about? I think you are pro-toll, but I sure as heck can't figure it out from your mishmash of a comment.
will willy January 23, 2013 at 03:17 AM
"aknowledged and their merrits weighed." It helps your credibility if you proof read and correct your comments before you post them. :)
louis January 31, 2013 at 04:17 AM
Tolls can get out of hand. Once you bring them back, they are here for good disrupting commerce and when there are budget shortfalls, its the politicians drug, they simply raise the cost. In London, they experimented with congestion charges. Every time you enter into a zone that is not your neighborhood, they can asses a substantial fee of 10 pounds sterling...which is about $20. There were horror stories of people driving in one zone and then accidentally leaving it then traveling back into central london and getting hit with $40 in fees.

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