Connecticut Governor Pitches Highway Tolls, Gas Tax Increase

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has proposed reinstating highway tolls and increasing the state gas tax by 7 cents to help pay for improvements and maintenance to roads and bridges.

The Democratic governor announced his transportation plan Wednesday. He said it would prevent fare increases and service reductions on rail lines and bus routes.

Malloy is calling for statewide electronic tolling beginning in July 2022.

“Today Connecticut remains the only state on the eastern seaboard that does not collect tolls, yet as a state between New York and Boston our highways are utilized every day by thousands of drivers passing through the state but not contributing to the upkeep of the roads on which they travel,” Malloy said.

He also wants a $3 per tire fee on tire purchases.

The governor said the money is needed because the state’s transportation fund is expected to go into deficit this year. That has forced officials to suspend more than $4 billion in transportation projects.

“Implementing tolls not only will ensure that our out-of-state drivers pay for what they use, it will raise the vast majority of the funds necessary to stabilize the special transportation fund in the long-term,” Malloy said. “Transportation is about far more than getting from Point A to Point B, it’s about growing jobs and building our economy today, tomorrow and well into the future. It’s about building the livable, walkable communities where people want to be and businesses want to grow.”

Tolls were eliminated in Connecticut following a crash at an Interstate 95 tollbooth in Stratford in 1983 that killed seven people.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)