HARTFORD, CT — A poll of 980 Connecticut drivers found that 47 percent of them support the idea of adding electronic tolls.
The poll was conducted by AAA Allied and AAA Northeast, Jan. 12-14. It has a 3.1 percent margin of error.
The 47 percent who support tolls was more than the 30 percent who don’t support any increase in fees. Another 16 percent said they would support an increase in federal and state gas taxes instead of tolls and five percent said they would pay a fee based on the annual number of miles they drive. Another 2 percent don’t believe any funding is needed.
The survey also found that 87 percent of drivers support a constitutional amendment to create a “lockbox” to ensure that gas tax receipts and other transportation-related fees are used to finance state transportation projects. Voters will have an opportunity to approve the constitutional amendment at the ballot box this November.
The poll comes just ahead of the 2018 legislative session where Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the General Assembly are expected to tackle the shortfall in the state’s Special Transportation Fund. If no changes are made to the current methods of raising revenue, the fund will be about $38 million in deficit by 2019 and the red ink is expected to grow to $216 million by 2022.
“It is critical that the motoring public, those who pay hundreds of millions in motor vehicle taxes and fees, have a voice in how transportation funds are collected and protected,” Amy Parmenter, public and government affairs manager for AAA, said. ”AAA’s intention in conducting the survey was to help make motorists’ opinions known to lawmakers and transportation stakeholders.”
In the next few weeks, Malloy is expected to unveil his proposal to resolve the deficit. In the meantime, he’s canceled $4.3 billion in transportation projects that impact every community in the state.
The Connecticut House came close to approving highway tolls last year, but after a few hours of debate the bill was removed from consideration without a vote.
Take our poll below and see where Connecticut residents stand on the issue. The poll will be posted until November, but you can only vote once.