Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed an executive order directing state agencies to conduct a $10 million study of Connecticut's transportation needs.
The study would consider restoring tolls on major parkways and interstate highways while reducing state gasoline taxes.
“During this past legislative session, we heard time and again from legislators that they wished for more information regarding electronic tolling, including specific recommendations with respect to its possible implementation,” Malloy said in a press statement. “Today, I am directing state agencies to commence a comprehensive study that will provide the legislature with just that. As Connecticut’s General Assembly and next governor consider how to address the future of our state’s transportation funding, this study and plan will prove to be invaluable in their endeavor to make an informed decision."
Malloy said the comprehensive study of electronic tolling would examine pricing, locations and the potential to collect revenue from out-of-state motorists.
The governor cannot implement tolls without legislative approval. His order resurrects elements of a toll proposal that died in the state House of Representatives when lawmakers recessed on May 9.
Malloy, a Democrat who is not seeking reelection, said the study would:
- Assess the impact of installing electronic tolls on Interstates 84, 91 and 95, the Wilbur Cross Parkway, the Merritt Parkway, and any other limited access highway identified by the Department of Transportation.
- Explore options for providing discounts and tax credits to Connecticut residents — shifting a greater share of the burden onto out-of-state motorists.
- Evaluate options to reduce state gasoline taxes in the event tolls are installed.
- Assess any environmental impacts related to tolls.
The governor proposes that the study be financed with $10 million in bonding. The State Bond Commission, which is chaired by the governor, is scheduled to consider funding at its July 25 meeting.
Malloy added: "After all, we need to be truthful with the people we were elected to represent – without transforming the way we fund our highways, we will be unable to pay for the large-scale construction and rehabilitation projects that our state needs to ensure continued safe travel while attracting businesses and growing our economy.”
Since 2013, at least 26 states have responded to the issue by increasing gas taxes, including seven states in the past year alone. The motor vehicle fuel tax in Connecticut was reduced in 1997 from 39 cents per gallon to 25 cents per gallon and has not changed since.
The Malloy’s executive order is attached below and can be accessed by clicking here.See Attachment
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