Connecticut has one of the highest gasoline taxes in the country, according to a new report released by the Tax Foundation, which used 2018 data gathered by the American Petroleum Institute.
Connecticut spends $99,417 per mile of road in administrative costs, according to the Reason Foundation’s annual study on state transportation spending and effectiveness. Connecticut had the highest administrative costs in the country, which were nine times the national average of $10,864. The administrative cost per mile increased by 19 percent since the Foundation’s previous study in 2016.
Gov. Dannel Malloy called on state legislature to approve electronic tolls for Connecticut’s highways, a 7 cent increase in the gasoline tax and a three dollar tax on tires in an effort to increase revenue to the state’s Special Transportation Fund.
With the news that General Electric is leaving Fairfield for Boston fresh in the mind of lawmakers, 2016 can be a year of opportunity for Connecticut. It can be, that is, if lawmakers make it one. We can argue over blame, but that would be a distraction. We can give up, but that would be a shame. But if we accept that policy needs an altered direction we can build on our state’s strengths, prevent future losses like GE and bring new opportunities to Connecticut.
Before lawmakers even consider raising the gas tax to fund transportation, they need to reassess how they spend existing transportation funds. Many of the state’s new projects offer little return on investment and represent a long-term maintenance cost. Lawmakers should focus on repairing the infrastructure we have rather than building new infrastructure we can’t afford. The latest payment for Connecticut’s rail line to Massachusetts makes the choices clear. The $155 million borrowed to pay for the new line almost exactly equals the $160 million needed for repairs to Metro-North’s New Haven line.