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House Speaker Aresimowicz has dismissed toll opponents and sceptics as “emotional” in their attachment to “perceived details.” But details from a new working draft of the tolls bill that may dominate the final struggle over this issue for 2019 demonstrate that toll opponents have the details right, while Aresimowicz’s and the governor’s camouflage of promises seeks desperately to hide those unpleasant truths.
Just last week, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz dismissed toll opponents as “emotional.” He claimed that they cling unthinkingly to “perceived details” such as that the number of gantries remain unfixed and the amount of revenue actually to be obtained from out-of-staters remains not only undetermined, but undeterminable.
Mention - Opponents - Concerns - Rate - Tolls
He did not mention, but could have, opponents’ continuing concerns about the eventual rate of tolls; about whether a state-wide, shared-sacrifice tolling structure will be authorized by the U.S. D.O.T. as promised, and what happens if it isn’t; and how much gross revenue from tolling will be eaten up by costs, which have thus far – by every available historical measure – been radically low-balled.
These concerns are not just emotional clinging to nonsense, though. They are the rational and clear-eyed implications of everything we know about the federal law and policy controlling Connecticut’s tolling plan and the state’s past patterns and practices in revenue generation, as well as the texts of all previous iterations of tolling bills.
Gov - Ned - Lamont - Draft - Toll
Gov. Ned Lamont’s new draft toll text, the one that will presumably inform debate in these waning days of the 2019 session, confirms these toll opponents’ fears.
Consider, for instance, the supposed “promise” about how high tolls rates will go.
Draft - Rates - Cents - Mile - Years
In this draft, the rates will start at 3.5 to 5.72 cents a mile. After three years, though, they will be free to rise. Their rise will occur not at the discretion of the...
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