HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont is expanding his public outreach pushing for his “trucks only tolls” plan. Thursday, for the second time in a week, the governor spent an hour on a WTIC-AM radio show taking questions about the trucks only tolls plan from listeners.
The latest version of his plan only affects those large 18-wheelers. Box trucks and buses would be excluded.
[Jim]: “Why should we believe, as taxpayers, that any money, any additional money raised would not be used for other things like paying state pensions and pay for other programs? Why should we believe that?”
[Governor Lamont]: “The money from the truck tolls, specifically, goes to pay off the bonds, that is contractually done by law.”
[C.J.]: “We’re too busy to go to these rallies for the ‘non-tolls’ because we’re too busy working. We’re tired; we want to know what are you doing to cut spending?”
[Governor Lamont]: “We inherited a $3.7 billion deficit. We balanced that, we didn’t raise sales taxes, we didn’t raise the income tax.”
Just a few minutes later a caller correctly pointed out that while the sales tax rate was not raised, it was expanded.
Lamont admitted that was the case and added, “It just seemed to me fundamentally unfair that if you buy your lawnmower down the street you’re paying Sales Tax on it but if it was bought online from Overstock.com you weren’t. I’ve tried to rectify that. I thought it was a question of fairness.”
[Adam]: “I’m wondering if the lawsuit in Rhode Island is won by the trucking industry, what’s going to happen with the tolls? Are we just going to go to all cars? What’s going to happen?”
[Governor Lamont]: “It’s going to take us a couple of years before we get the gantries up so that should be resolved in time anyway.”
The governor is also planning a public forum at a school in Westport on Sunday, but the “No Tolls CT” group said they will boycott that meeting and instead devote their resources to campaigning for candidates opposed to tolls in next week’s special legislative elections.