Letter: Tolls: The great con job, part two
To the Editor:
When Gov. Weicker and the Democrats passed the state income tax in the early 1990s, politicians assured the citizens that a constitutional spending cap would be implemented so spending would grow at the rate of inflation. Twenty years later state spending has exploded and tax rates have increased.
Fast forward to 2019, the decaying state infrastructure and the need for tolls. Connecticut has a Transportation Fund specifically set up for investing in roads, bridges and trains. The money comes from the gas taxes (5th highest in USA), DMV sales taxes, licenses, and other revenue. Look at how much money went into the Transportation Fund by budget year: FY 2009 $1.15 billion, FY2010 $1.11B, FY2011 $1.18B, FY2012 $1.26B, 2013 $1.23B, FY2014 $1.242B, FY2015 $1.32B, FY2016 $1.49B, FY2017 $1.59B, FY2018 $1.59B. Imagine if the politicians actually used the entire $12 billion collected over the last 10 years on infrastructure. They didn’t. Example, $5 billion went to state debt service.
In 2019, the Democrats needed to change the con game to get “new” money. How about tolls? First they pass a $10 million toll study. Then they sponsor a lockbox referendum to supposedly protect the new toll money from politicians. Next, Gov. Lamont breaks his tolls pledge, so cars would now be charged. Then, Lamont’s budget takes the remaining funds from the Transportation Fund and bankrupts it. Our First Selectman Rudy Marconi has gone to Hartford three times endorsing tolls.
How about we go back to basics. Use the existing transportation money being collected and invest all of it into transportation infrastructure. The state budget should be reset so Hartford lives within its means. It’s something every family in does and you don’t need paid staff to do it. All you need is a $2 calculator.
St. Johns Road, March 19