The camel’s nose under the toll road tent

The front page of today’s daily reports on a costly feasibility study looking into opening HOV lanes to toll paying drivers. The enticement comes via an optional component which will doubtless vanish as in other cities where tolls have become the only means of accessing freeways. But we are advised these roads are gaining in popularity around the country. 

Wanna bet?

The downturn in the economy and Arizona’s budget deficits have spurred interest in this latest gimmick to separate Arizona drivers from their even more constricted dollars. But when government wants augmented revenues, not even taxing food is off the plate.

Tucson lawyer, John Munger, who withdrew from the governor’s race when unable to gain traction, had toll roads as a focal point of his Imagine Arizona campaign.

The newspaper is clearly onboard as it describes this latest incursion on already strapped taxpayers as a ”Plan [which] could ease congestion on Valley freeways, raise revenue.”

In October 2009, Seeing Red AZ predicted Looks like the fix is in for toll roads. It would be useful to reacquaint yourself with this post.

18 Responses to The camel’s nose under the toll road tent

  1. Ajo Joe says:

    It’s a time honored tradition. When people are down and out, tax them more and tell them they need and like it.

  2. BillyBob says:

    Why does it take a half million for this study? Don’t we have smart enough people in state govt to do this work? Just more waste of tax dollars during tough times!

  3. Kathy says:

    Hey – here’s an idea CUT SPENDING & Nanny programs! Quit spending money you don’t have (States & Federal Gov’t) – thanks Janet, Obama, Dems, Rino’s etc. The Gov’t spends & spends and then the people have to pick up the tab. Why don’t we start with garnishing 75% of their salaries & taking away all their perks.

  4. Another LD11 PC says:

    Here’s where toll roads are coming from:

    1) Andy Biggs’ bill from last year supported by Goldwater Institute in favor of “public private partnerships”

    2) The Arizona International Development Authority which is housed at the Department of Transportation.
    This private corporation can float bonds and build roads with no elected oversight.

    3) The Arizona Economic Development Authority supported by Jan Brewer, Russell Pearce, Kirk Adams, John Kavanaugh, Steve Pierce, Andy Tobin, Andy Biggs, etc. It is the government creation of a private corporation, hidden in the Republican “jobs bill” and provides for UNLIMITED SPENDING with no elected oversight. Spending is financed via debt issuance, underwritten by the taxpayer with no taxpayer oversight, nor oversight by elected officials, just a private board.

    YOU NEED TO HOLD YOUR “CONSERVATIVE” REPUBLICANS ACCOUNTABLE FOR ACTING LIKE DEMOCRATS.

    Yes, this includes Russell Pearce.

    • Another LD11 PC says:

      To add to the above, all of the above 3 new government “authorities” will be used to build the Trans-Arizona NAFTA Corridor called the CANAMEX CORRIDOR.

      Brought to you by pro-new world order globalist puppets acting like conservatives, but fulfilling the globalist agenda.

      Everyone gets their cut of the action!
      There’s money to be made selling out your country!

  5. Kent says:

    The Washington Post just sent out a breaking news alert that home prices are continuing to fall, and not expected to rebound anytime soon. There was a dramatic average 1.3% drop from September to October.

    The chairman of the S&P index released a statement in which he said, “There is no good news in October’s report. Home prices across the country continue to fall.”

    What a perfect time to investigate toll roads, with unemployment reaching toward 10% and people hurting. That this is even being considered is disgusting and shows the contempt in which we are held by those in control.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/28/AR2010122801269.html?wpisrc=nl_natlalert

    • Another LD11 PC says:

      This is great. The “Jobs Bill” contains a property tax increase for homeowners.

      So, in a declining home prices environment, “conservatives” in the state legislature are going to raise property taxes!

      Of course, they’ll say they’re not raising them, they’re LOWERING them for business.

      However, property tax law in Arizona AUTOMATICALLY adjusts the rates to ensure that the TOTAL TAKE remains the same.

      Therefore, “conservatives” will say they aren’t raising property taxes because (in their deceptive rhetoric) they to no positive action to do so, knowing that it will automatically occur anyway because of the way the statute works.

      So, they’ll pass unlimited debt-financed spending via the Economic Development Authority with no elected oversight, property taxes will go up and they’ll say they created jobs.

      Both Kirk Adams and Russell Pearce are supporting this bill called the Republican “Jobs Bill.”

      Bend over!

  6. Hunter says:

    If toll revenue is used to reduce the state gas tax, this can be a benefit for everyone. Drivers not using the HOV/Toll lanes will pay lower gas taxes without paying a toll and put up with rush hour highway congestion. Drivers paying the toll will be able to escape traffic congestion for a price they consider a bargain compared to sitting in traffic. Getting price information from tolls will also be more informative about where new road construction will be valued compared to just looking at traffic jams and planning road widening projects. Markets and prices provide better information than government studies and are more likely to lead to good decisions than politicians deciding where to build roads based on their political influence and what votes they are trying to buy.

    • Capt. Marvel says:

      Surely you jest, Hunter. Do you actually believe drivers who don’t use the HOV/Toll lanes will pay lower gas taxes? Please tell me when ANY tax has ever been reduced or disappeared? That includes Gov. Brewer’s “temporary sales tax.” If that ends in three years as she claimed when it was instituted this past year, I’ll eat my hat!

      • Hunter says:

        If the legislature made the laws so that the gas tax was lowered by the amount collected for HOV lane tolls, it would be better for everyone. I don’t deny it’s a big IF as far as getting the gas tax reduced sufficiently, but it would be great IF it could be made to work. Plus, if it would take a super majority of the legislature to pass a tax increase, it might actually work if the tax is initially reduced enough.

        If it is simply a ploy by the construction lobby to get more government construction dollars rather than reallocate existing dollars, then it will be a problem for taxpayers.

        If private construction companies want to build their own toll roads at their expense and recover their costs through tolls or subscriptions, that would be great as the taxpayers would not be on the hook unless they agree to be customers.

        No, I wasn’t joking – and stop calling me Surely. ;-)

        I hope to be able to buy you mustard and ketchup to go with your hat, but, unfortunately, there is a very good chance you won’t be eating it.

    • Scott says:

      Such very Libertarian thinking. Anything goes and only the people using the roads pay for them. Of course, everyone uses the roads, not simply the drivers. The elderly who no longer drive, children and even blind individuals are passengers on roads and freeways. This is another expensive state sponsored con.

      Libertarians grandly proclaim that each of us has the right to live life in any way we choose as long as we respect the same rights for others. Play that one out. No doubt pedophiles and hard core drug users are happy with the principle.

  7. TeaPartyPatriot says:

    Lunatic-left d-crat socialist extremism: If it exists, it MUST be taxed, regulated, controlled and totally and completely subject to the will and whim of BIG GOVERNMENT bureaucrats.

    • Another LD11 PC says:

      Yep, and doesn’t it suck when it’s elected “conservative” republicans passing those bills?

  8. Luke says:

    We’re taxed for roads at the pump with our ever escalating gas purchases. Lottery receipts are also supposed to aid in road construction and maintenance. That’s how it was sold in the first place. I heard a report today that gas can be expected to reach $5 a gallon within the year. Between such exorbitant increases and the tolls, we won’t be able to afford to get to work.

  9. sherriaz says:

    Watch for the growth of the Tea Party and for a renewed push to rollback property taxes a la Prop 13 from California. It’s ridiculous to see our homes down 50% in value but with the same property taxes, followed by $5/gal gas. There will be a revolt- the only unknown is how big it will be.

  10. Richfield the plumber says:

    Why isn’t anyone taking about the fact that those who are pushing tolls are the same who want us out of our cars and into the light rail cattle boxcars? By raising the cost of driving a car, more commuters are being pushed into opting for these modern day trolley cars.
    You can argue all you want about feasibility studies and libertarian politics, but the bottom line is that we are being herded into giving up the freedom of our cars as the costs of driving escalate.

    • Doc says:

      Mmmmmmooooooo! So, yesterday, a former Shell Oil exec. had THIS to say:

      http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/12/29/earlyshow/main7194381.shtml
      …sorta like th’ toll roads in Texas that their gubmint forced on them. Toll roads were installed, citizens found ways around ’em, gubmint made those roads worthless for travel by installing traffic ’roundabouts’, lights, 1-way areas, & reduction of speed limits to ridiculous levels.

      sorta reminds me of the big brotherism of photo radar. And, how about the off-ramp roundabout @ I-17 & Happy Valley Rd?!?!? How many citizens have been killed or injured by THAT fine traffic control arrangement?

  11. […] days ago, with the threat of $5 a gallon gas looming, the newspaper blithely tossed out the idea of toll roads. It was headlined, Study looks at opening HOV lanes to toll payers. The two-pronged hook was easing […]