FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 18, 2016
StopTollsRI Calls for Immediate Halt to All RhodeWorks/Toll Funded Activity
Cites Significant Reduction In 6/10 Connector Costs, NY Court Ruling Against Truck Tolls
Providence, RI - StopTollsRI.com today echoes Representative Patricia Morgan's call for an immediate halt to any spending and borrowing supported by the state's truck toll scheme. A recent federal court decision last month ruled as unconstitutional the State of New York’s program which collected truck tolls to fund non-truck infrastructure.
"This ruling in New York places Rhode Island's truck toll law in clear legal jeopardy," emphasized StopTollsRI.com spokesperson Monique Chartier. "It punches a second hole in the claim that our tolls will be ruled legal and opens another large door to litigation."
From the beginning, the Rhode Island Trucking Association and the American Trucking Association have strongly questioned the constitutionality of tolling only certain classes of trucks. However, a lawsuit that would determine their legality cannot be brought until trucks are actually tolled, long after tax dollars are spent on toll infrastructure and, even worse, taxpayers are put on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in unnecessary borrowing.
StopTollsRI.com also questions the necessity of tolls in light of the significant ratcheting back of the 6/10 Connector project.
"The feds refused Rhode Island a FASTLANE grant. So no matching state funds are needed for that grant and the scope of the project itself has been cut back," Chartier pointed out. "Accordingly, we join Representative Morgan's call for state leaders to suspend all toll-related activity until their legality is determined by the courts. To do otherwise, especially in the wake of the New York court ruling, is to lead the state and taxpayers into a legal morass that would pale in comparison to the 38 Studios debacle."
StopTollsRI.com is a grassroots movement formed to oppose tolls and dedicated to educating voters on where General Assembly incumbents and candidates stand on tolls. Please visit www.stoptollsri.com to see how incumbent legislators voted on tolls and which challengers oppose them.