Gov. Malloy Orders a Comprehensive Study of Electronic Tolling
Directs Agencies to Provide Information for the General Assembly’s Consideration
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that he has signed an executive order directing state agencies to conduct a comprehensive assessment on implementing a new funding plan for Connecticut’s transportation system that prioritizes economic fairness toward the state’s residents by ensuring that drivers from out of state contribute their fair share to the operation and maintenance of the state’s highways while also possibly reducing taxes on the sale of gasoline.
“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,” Governor Malloy said. “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. 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.”
The need for developing a new funding method is due to the ongoing destabilization of the Special Transportation Fund, which finances the state’s entire transportation system and is generated primarily through motor vehicle fuel taxes. As vehicles become more fuel efficient or completely electric, the fund will continue to become more insolvent as each year goes by – an issue that states all across the nation are grappling with.
Since 2013, at least 26 states have responded to the issue by increasing gas taxes, including seven states in the last year alone. The motor vehicle fuel tax in Connecticut was reduced in 1997 from $0.39 per gallon to $0.25 per gallon and has not changed since.
The Governor’s executive order directs the Department of Transportation (DOT) to:
- Prepare a comprehensive assessment for possible electronic tolling on I-95, I-91, I-84, the Wilbur Cross Parkway, the Merritt Parkway, and any other limited access highways as determined by the DOT Commissioner, which includes potential toll monitoring and specifies proposed toll charges;
- Explore potential ways to provide discounts, tax credits, or other value-pricing options to Connecticut residents while ensuring out-of-state drivers contribute their fair share;
- Explore plans that could reduce motor vehicle fuel taxes; and
- Study the environmental impacts of electronic tolling systems.
The state Bond Commission will vote during its July 25 meeting to approve a $10 million allocation to fund the assessment.