Infrastructure: Tolls will not fix CT’s infrastructure problems – answers to your questions.
Last week, the State Bond Commission approved Governor Malloy’s $10M study on electronic tolling. In my update email / social media posts last week, I said that tolls are not the way to solve CT’s infrastructure problems – tolls are a regressive tax and hurt most those who make the least. I received a lot of responses from everyone – here are the main questions I heard:
How exactly are tolls regressive? Tolls are regressive because they are a flat tax on all residents, no matter how much their income. For example, if the toll was $10/day or $3,650 a year – it may be ok for someone making six figures but would be a crushing tax on someone who makes a minimum wage. That is the classic definition of a regressive tax.
Other states like NJ have tolls so why can’t CT? Other states like NJ have lower gas taxes, while CT already has a high gas tax. CT consumers are already paying too much.
How else do we pay for higher infrastructure spending? Instead of raising taxes, we should prioritize our transportation spending and allocate our dollars prudently. We spent nearly $2.5Bn on transportation in 2017, an extra $100Mn from tolls (if implemented) would be a drop in the bucket and have no impact on our structural issues. On a per capita or road-mile basis, most neighboring states spend less.