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

Porter-Parsonsfield Covered Bridge - Maine

  Spanning over the Ossipee River on the border between Porter in Oxford County, Maine and Parsonsfield in York County, Maine is the 152 foot long Porter-Parsonsfield Covered Bridge. The Porter-Parsonsfield Bridge is built in a Paddleford truss design, which is commonly found among covered bridges in the New England states. The covered bridge is the third bridge located at this site, with the first two bridges built in 1800 and 1808. However, there seems to be some dispute for when the covered bridge was built. There is a plaque on the bridge that states that the bridge may have been built in 1876, but in my research, I have found that this bridge may have been built in 1859 instead. That may check out since a number of covered bridges in northern New England were built or replaced around 1859 after a really icy winter. The year that the Porter-Parsonsfield Covered Bridge was built was not the only controversy surrounding its construction. There was a dispute over building and maintain

Route 75 Tunnel - Ironton, Ohio

In the Ohio River community of Ironton, Ohio, there is a former road tunnel that has a haunted legend to it. This tunnel was formerly numbered OH 75 (hence the name Route 75 Tunnel), which was renumbered as OH 93 due to I-75 being built in the state. Built in 1866, it is 165 feet long and once served as the northern entrance into Ironton, originally for horses and buggies and later for cars. As the tunnel predated the motor vehicle era, it was too narrow for cars to be traveling in both directions. But once US 52 was built in the area, OH 93 was realigned to go around the tunnel instead of through the tunnel, so the tunnel was closed to traffic in 1960. The legend of the haunted tunnel states that since there were so many accidents that took place inside the tunnel's narrow walls, the tunnel was cursed. The haunted legend states that there was an accident between a tanker truck and a school bus coming home after a high school football game on a cold, foggy Halloween night in 1

US Route 299 and modern California State Route 299

US Route 299 connected US Route 101 near Arcata of Humboldt County east across the northern mountain ranges of California to US Route 395 in Alturas of Modoc County.  US Route 299 was the longest child route of US Route 99 and is the only major east/west highway across the northern counties of California.  US Route 299 was conceptualized as the earliest iteration of what is known as the Winnemucca-to-the-Sea Highway.  The legacy of US Route 299 lives on today in the form of the 307 mile long California State Route 299.   Featured as the cover of this blog is the interchange of US Route 101 and US Route 299 north of Arcata which was completed as a segment of the Burns Freeway during 1956.   Part 1; the history of US Route 299 and California State Route 299 The development of the State Highways which comprised US Route 299 ("US 299") and later California State Route 299 ("CA 299") began with 1903 Legislative Chapter 366 which defined the general corridor of the Trinit