The Connecticut Post reports that Governor Daniel Malloy is floating the idea of Rhode Island's truck toll funding model to raise money for his state's $100 billion, 30-year blueprint to modernize the state’s crumbling bridges, roads and rail system announced in 2015.
“We’re going to have to raise more money,” Malloy told Hearst Connecticut Media in a recent interview. “Gas taxes are going away. They’re going away because people are driving Teslas.”
Malloy listed several funding options including dedicating a higher percentage of sales tax .
Rhode Island's toll proposal still needs to be signed off by the Federal Highway Administration. The plan is being opposed by the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, a lobbying group of 700 trucking companies and other businesses that depend on commercial trucking. The group's president, Joseph Sculley, says, "We already pay federal vehicle use taxes and a 12 percent federal excise tax for the wear and tear on roads." In the current fiscal year, Sculley said Connecticut-based motor carriers paid $5.8 million in truck registration fees to the state. Out-of-state trucking companies accounted for an additional $19.5 million in registration fees.
Connecticut lawmakers are debating the wisdom of a truck toll, citing whether it is fair to tax just one segment of the traffic population while not tolling others. State Senator L. Scott Frantz, questioned whether truck tolls would be able to stand up to a legal challenge. “There already is a taxation scheme in place for trucks,” Frantz said. Frantz said the state should delay other infrastructure projects, including some school construction, to increase bonding capacity to pay for most of Malloy’s transportation plan.