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Conn. Lawmakers Hold Hearing On Highway Tolls

Elise Amendola
Cars pass under toll sensor gantries hanging over the Massachusetts Turnpike in August in Newton, Mass.

The Connecticut Legislature's Transportation Committee heard testimony Monday on plans to bring tolls back to state highways and how that would affect residents.

State Senator Toni Boucher of Wilton has been a vocal opponent of tolls.

“This is just another tax. For example, if you have individuals that live in the Town of Ridgefield that go to work across the state border everyday, they’re going to be assessed that toll. But yet, there are some very fortunate residents of Ridgefield that work right around the corner in town, maybe not very far, maybe in Danbury, maybe in Wilton, and they don’t have to pay that toll at all. The inequity of that is astounding to me that people aren’t sensitive to that.”   

Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi supports tolls. He also spoke at the hearing. Marconi said tolls could bring in revenue that would benefit the whole state.

“We cannot cut our way out of this terrible financial position we find ourselves in, we have to generate revenues. Now do I support board tolls? Yes, I do. But I’m not saying we should implement border tolls. We can put tolls in a lot of different areas in this state and generate a whole lot of revenue.”

The state eliminated tolls in 1983 after a deadly accident at a tollbooth in Stratford.

Tolls have been proposed in previous legislative sessions, but the bills failed.