• Harry Arora

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.