Lamont transition committee recommends gas tax hike and tolls on cars and trucks

Tolls for all trucks and cars must be on the table as the new Lamont Administration takes over next month.  That's the conclusion of his transition transportation policy committee today.   It comes despite the fact that Lamont has said he only supports tolls on trucks.

This is the second study group this year to conclude that the state cannot move forward without the money that would be generated by highway tolls.

Melissa Kaplan-Macey of the "Regional Plan Association" in Stamford is co chair of the transportation policy committee and says,  "We simply can't get there using only the tools we have in our tool box today, it just won't work."

The tool the co-chair of Governor-elect Lamont's transportation policy study group is talking about is the current tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. The group has come to the same conclusion as the Malloy Administration;  that as a funding source for state transportation funding,  the gas tax is running out of gas.   

Wednesday, they recommended an increase in the gas tax, and that's not all.  In her presentation Kaplan-Macey saying,  "The gas tax alone won't be enough and the committee also recommends enabling tolls for both trucks and passenger vehicles."

That's despite the fact that Lamont is on the record favoring only tolls on out-of-state trucks.  A position he reiterated in an exclusive News 8 interview last week.

Related Content: Lamont says "trucks only tolling" on track

Davis;   Are you certain you can raise enough money just by tolling trucks, and is it just trucks or just out of state trucks?

Lamont;   "It's tractor trailer trucks coming in and out of our state."

At the committee meeting at Bradley Airport in Windsor Locks Wednesday Kaplan-Macey added,   "We recognize that the toll conversation isn't easy but we agree that it's a hard conversation that our state needs to have."

The committee concludes that broad based tolls must be on the table as the new administration starts because upgrading interconnected rail and bus service statewide along with highway maintenance and modernization upgrades are imperative to make the state competitive and attract business.  And that appears to be the conclusion of his other policy groups as well.  Transition co-chair,  Rep. Toni Walker (D-New Haven) saying, "Transportation is a main product that needs to be worked out in order for this state to evolve and thrive."

The battle lines are already being drawn, after today's meeting the Republican leader in the State Senate, Sen. Len Fasano (R-North Haven) issued a statement saying "These ideas look like Dan Malloy 2.0, and then some. They include massive tax increases, massive increases in spending
and massive new promises."

Senator Fasano also saying he's trying very hard to give Governor-elect Lamont the benefit of the doubt, and not rush to judgement.        

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