Down the wrong road.

It looks like some of the people in the Wyoming Statehouse are seeking to add a toll to I-80.  They say it is because they can’t afford to maintain it and they are not getting enough money from the Fed.  I say that adding a toll will simply add a tax and do nothing to keep the road in good repair. 

I have lived in states where toll roads are the norm and not the exception. I have seen this pattern before and I would hate to see the good people of Wyoming get saddled with a bad idea.  Toll roads are a trap.  

All adding a toll will do is cost the citizens money.  It will do nothing to improve the roadway.  Why?  The state government, once the toll is in place, will reduce general fund monies for the maintenance of the roadway because, after all, they have the toll.  The toll takers will be people so they will have to create a new bureaucracy around the toll system.   This will mean more people working for the State, which will mean more outrageous benefit plans, and more retirement plans.  Most toll roads use up more than half of their intake to feed their own bureaucracy.  

What will happen next?  The toll will not be enough, the road will fall in disrepair and the toll will have to be increased.   “More” is always the government’s answer to a failed program.  More money into the coffers of the toll taking bureaucracy means the possibility of more corruption.  Patronage and featherbed jobs will flourish and still there will be no real difference in road maintenance.  

Take heed Wyoming, from one who has lived in states where toll roads exist.  These roads, for the most part, are in atrocious condition even after people pay federal tax, state tax and a toll to use them. 


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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Rick…Living, as I do, in CA, I must concur with your Blog…CA has one of, if not the highest gas taxes in the land, plus we pay sales tax after all the other costs, taxes, fees and whatever…7.5% or something like that, on top of the other state taxes are added…If anyone challenges your stand, defy them to get into a vehicle, blindfolded, in western AZ and not be able to tell when the car goes over the state line and enters CA…The highways are a mess, but the money keeps rolling in….In to the General Fund, not to CALTRANS so they can improve the roads….John

    • I remember a time when I was youngster and the Navy stationed me in Southern California. They moved me from Massachusetts. It was my first time west of the Mississippi. I was amazed at how smooth and well maintained the roads were in California. Even the surface streets were in great condition.
      That was before the Democrats took over your. It is a shame that the liberals who have controlled your state for so many years have let this example of pride slip away too.

  2. It is not just the liberals, it is the greedy power hungry elite that feel that whatever we as lowly citizens we should be happy to get and kiss thier hand for it. Former Governor Pete Wilson, who pulls the strings on Arnold, wants to fire all those lazy state workers and privatize road maint in California, of course he does! His biggest buddies are all developers and builders and construction companies!!!!! If you think it will be cheaper with private contractors remember, you will just shift the money over to all the people who will have to write the contracts, andminister the contracts, inspect the work, inspect the inspectors, make the payments, audit the payments, etc etc etc. You will NOT save money in this, Hey You still have legislators and cronies throwing billions away every where we look. Look at all the private contracts in the middle east. They had one tiny audit, that within two weeks found 4 BILLION dollars that had been “accidentally paid out” to contractors.

    While I admit a toll is not the way to go, privatizing is really not gonna work in California, too many back scratching, back stabin back, room dealing a-holes waiting to rip us off.

    The New Bay Bridge which was designed then re designed by committee went over budget NOT because Caltrans mis-estimated the cost to build, But because Politicians CHANGED the design after the buiding began, and I am not talking small changes either. Yes, well managed and watched private contractors can do great things for our roads and many other things, but the well managed will always elude Californians as long as they have the bunch we have in there now.

    I have lived over half a century in the state of confusion, and I have seen it circle the drain for years, there is little we can do if we can’t get the politicians to actually act in our best interestes instead of what the few deep pocketed contributors wisper in thier ears.

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