DANBURY, Conn. — With proposals floating to add tolls to highways near the Connecticut-New York border, state Sen. Michael McLachlan vowed to continue his efforts to fight those legislative plans.
“Time and again my constituents have said they don’t want tolls on Connecticut highways, but people in Hartford just don’t seem to get the message,” said McLachlan, a Republican who represents Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, and Sherman in the state Senate. “I hear you loud and clear and will fight this obvious money grab targeted at residents and workers on our state’s borders. Tolls are taxes and we are already!”
McLachlan said it is no surprise that many legislators proposing tolls submitted bills that would put them in someone else’s back yard. Many bills for tolls and “congestion pricing” target locations near the Connecticut/New York border.
“I guess it’s easier to make somebody else pay the bill,” McLachlan said. “It’s easier to make someone else face increased congestion and wear and tear on local roads caused by people trying to drive around the tolls. You don’t see the problems when they are happening to someone else.”
A white paper on the impact of tolls in Connecticut submitted to the Department of Transportation in 2015 noted the “significant capital cost associated with deploying all-electronic tolling,” McLachlan said.
“Connecticut is already facing projected budget shortfalls in coming years if significant corrective action is not taken now,” he said. “It makes no sense to budget or bond for something that will not produce revenue for several years and could impact the federal transportation funding we already receive. Tolls are anything but a quick fix solution.”