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Trucking Association Member On Tolls: State Doesn't Care About Small Businesses

Frankie Graziano
Connecticut Public Radio
A "no tolls" protester from Greenwich involved in a demonstation at the state Capitol in March 2019. Democratic lawmakers in Connecticut intend to go forward with a plan to toll only trucks in the state.

The trucking industry is pushing back against a Democratic proposal to toll only trucks in Connecticut. 

The governor and other Democratic state lawmakers now agree on how transportation projects in Connecticut should be funded. Under the plan, trucks would be tolled on 12 bridges, which could generate $180 million, state officials said.

Joe Sculley, the president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, said the plan could be bad for small businesses. He estimated some would see added costs of at least $300,000 as a result of truck tolling.

“I don’t’ know how you can have a small business in this state that brings food to grocery stores or home heating oil to people’s homes or gas stations, and people don’t care about that because they’re so focused on just getting the tolls up,” Sculley said. “That’s scary to me.”

Sculley believes it’s unconstitutional for states to toll only trucks. He cited an ongoing court battle in Rhode Island between local officials and representatives from the trucking industry.

State Rep. Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) indicated last week that the state could stand against a federal legal challenge if it tolls trucks only on bridges.

Senate Democratic leaders have said there might be a special session in January to take up the issue, according to The Connecticut Mirror. Republican lawmakers have said they still oppose any kind of tolling.

Frankie Graziano is the host of The Wheelhouse, focusing on how local and national politics impact the people of Connecticut.

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