Boucher calls governor’s tolls and gas tax plan a sham

tolls
Senator Toni Boucher

Wilton state Sen. Toni Boucher (R-26) said Gov. Dannel Malloy’s transportation tax and toll proposal is a sham that will only create more problems for the state.

“This is emblematic of the other proposals this administration has put on the table to solve the state’s budget shortfalls. And just like those, it will fail to achieve the desired results,” Boucher said in a press release.

At a press conference Jan. 31, Malloy called for a seven-cent increase in the gas tax to be implemented over four years beginning July 1, a $3 fee on all tire purchases beginning July 1, acceleration of the transfer of car sales tax by two years, also beginning July 1. and tolls beginning in fiscal year 2023. The governor’s plan did not indicate how many tolls would be put in place or where they would be.

“Connecticut is losing people and jobs in droves because of high taxes and the high cost of living here. This just gives those people and businesses more of a reason to leave,” said Boucher, who is co-chair of the Transportation Committee. “We can’t expect people to keep paying the state more and more money when it doesn’t responsibly spend the money it has now.”

Boucher said a rough toll study done by the Department of Transportation found that 75% of toll revenues would come from Connecticut drivers. The study did not speculate how much federal money the state would lose should tolls be installed. The federal government shares a higher percentage of its gas tax receipts with Connecticut than neighboring states because Connecticut does not have tolls.

“We just don’t have enough information,” Boucher said. “There has been no comprehensive study about how much tolls will cost, how much revenue tolls will have to raise to offset those costs, how tolls will impact commerce and our economy. We just don’t have enough information.

“This is shaping up to be as controversial as 2011 and 2015 when this administration enacted two of the highest tax increases in the state of Connecticut,” she said. “We know how well those worked out for the state’s residents and businesses. Why should we expect these proposals to produce different results?”

Boucher is also a vice chair on the Finance, Revenue, & Bonding Committee. She serves  Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.

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