Skip to main content

I-73 Toll Bill Passes ... is it a tax?

Last week, the SC Senate came to a resolution on the I-73 Toll Bill, and passed the measure. Gov. Mark Sanford is expected to sign it. The I-95 admendment was dropped, so the bill only opens up the toll possibility for Interstate 73. Supporters of the bill see this as a big statement showing the US Congress that South Carolina is serious about looking for ways to fund the construction of the $2 billion project.

Does this mean I-73 will have Toll Booths? - No, it does not. The bill only allows tolling as a possible - not definite - funding source. The bill does not form a Toll Authority, it does not give any bond amount, it does not state any locations for toll booths, and it does not legislate any toll amount.

Opponents to the toll bill point out that the toll is the same as a tax. Andy Brack, who publishes the S.C. State House Report has editorialized about the passed bill, here. He points his viewpoint out most clearly here:
But remember it's a toll, which is just a glorified way of saying "special tax." (Note to political consultants: All of the Republicans and Democrats who voted for the toll proposal actually voted to increase taxes -- despite a "no new taxes" pledge that a majority of them signed.)
He points to other alternatives like the State Infrastructure Bank, which has helped to fund the construction of the Carolina Bays Parkway and other projects throughout the state.

What does this all mean?

Nothing much actually. Yes, the bill does open the way to a possible funding source. One that supporters hope will lead the way to more funding from the Federal Government. But I'm certain that pipeline isn't threatening to run dry.

Opponents will become more vocal if tolls become the overall means to pay for the highway. Battles over the amount of tolls, local communities wanting a discount on the toll, experiation of the tolls, possible creation of a toll authority, and who will be responsibile for the care and upkeep of the Interstate will surely follow.

The one thing the bill does accomplish is keeping the highway in the press while final design is being done on the south segment of the highway, and studies begin on the north segment.

There's still a long way to go before tolls are actually decided for I-73.

Poll:

I have created a poll in the Southeast Roads Yahoo Group on the question: "Is a tolled highway the same as a tax?" It closes February 15.

Comments

Froggie said…
That Andy Brack is contradicting himself. He calls tolls "a tax" and rails against them, yet in another one of his articles from that article link, he supports raising the state's cigarette tax. Isn't that a tax too?
Anonymous said…
I hope that this site has brought you what you want Adam & that the effort you have gone to brings you what you truly deserve.
Anonymous said…
Taxes are imposed on the population as a whole. An IH 73 toll would a charge those who use the road, exclusively. Calling that a "tax" is absolute rubbish. Just more political abuse of the language. That sort of thing makes me want to go upside ppl's heads with a cricket bat.

Popular posts from this blog

The original alignment of California State Route 1 in San Francisco

In 2019 the Gribblenation Blog Series covered the history of the Hyde Street Pier and the original surface alignment of US Route 101 in San Francisco.  Given the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic in May of 1937 coupled with the fact that the Sign State Routes had been announced in August of 1934 there were still some open questions regarding the original highway alignments in San Francisco.  Namely the question of this blog is; where was California State Route 1 prior to the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge?  Thanks the to the discovery of a 1936 Shell Highway Map of San Francisco and the California Highways & Public Works the answer can be conveyed clearly.     Part 1; the history of early California State Route 1 in San Francisco The genesis point for California State Route 1 ("CA 1") in San Francisco dates to 1933.  1933 was significant due to the State Legislature allowing the Division of Highways to assume maintenance of highways in Cities for the first time. 

Former California State Route 24 through the Kennedy Tunnel and Old Tunnel Road

 Near the eastern City Limit of Oakland high in the Berkeley Hills one can be find the ruins of the Kennedy Tunnel at the intersection of Old Tunnel Road and Skyline Boulevard.  The Kennedy Tunnel opened in 1903 and was the first semi-modern automotive corridor which crossed the Alameda County-Contra Costa County Line.  The Kennedy Tunnel even saw service briefly as part of California State Route 24 before the first two bores of the Caldecott Tunnel opened in 1937.   Part 1; the history of the Kennedy Tunnel The genesis point for California State Route 24 ("CA 24") being extended into the San Francisco Bay Area begins a couple years before the Sign State Routes were announced when Legislative Route Number 75 ("LRN 75") was added by 1931 Legislative Chapter 82.  According to cahighways.org the original definition of LRN 75 was as simply "Walnut Creek to Oakland."  The instigator for the adoption of LRN 75 was construct a replacement route for the Ken

Santa Clara County Route G8 and the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine

Santa Clara County Route G8 is a 29.38 mile County Sign Route which is part of the San Francisco Bay Area transportation corridor.  Santa Clara County Route G8 begins at California State Route 152 near the outskirts of Gilroy and terminates at former US Route 101 at 1st Street/Monterey Road near downtown San Jose.  Santa Clara County Route G8 incorporates the notable Almaden Expressway and is historically tied to the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine.   (Santa Clara County Route G8 map image courtesy CAhighways.org) Part 1; the history of Santa Clara County Route G8, the Almaden Road corridor and New Almaden Mine The present corridor of Santa Clara County Route G8 ("G8") began to take shape with the emergence of the Almaden Expressway.  According to the October 1960 California Highways & Public Works Unit 1 of the Almaden Expressway opened in November of 1959 between Alma Avenue near downtown San Jose south to the Guadalupe River as part of a Federal Highway Aid Secondary pro