Tolling, higher taxes among funding ideas for Gov. Malloy’s $100 billion transportation program

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HARTFORD — Congestion tolling, a higher sales tax and increasing the state gas tax to the 1990s rate of 39 cents per gallon are among the ideas being recommended to help fund Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposed $100 billion transportation overhaul.

The report released Friday by the Transportation Finance Panel also calls for a state constitutional amendment that creates a so-called lockbox, preventing transportation funds from being spent on other programs.

The report comes as the General Assembly prepares to convene Feb. 3.

Malloy says he doesn’t expect any of the tax increase proposals to be voted on during the new session, which falls in a legislative election year. He said lawmakers first need to pass the lockbox legislation with enough votes to put the issue before the voters in November.

Transportation has been a major focus for Gov. Malloy.  Transportation was also cited as a reason General Electric decided to uproot the company from Fairfield to Boston this week.

This week, GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said transportation was a major selling point for the company to move to Boston. It’s  home to Logan International Airport. Gov. Malloy  said that is even more reason transportation must be one of his greatest priorities.

“I do urge the legislature to take up as quickly as possible, a lockbox. So the citizens of Connecticut can understand that their transportation investments will not be spent in other ways,” said Malloy.

Malloy has been fighting for a constitutional amendment that would create a lockbox to protect funding for transportation. Lawmakers said that has to be adopted before they even discuss any of the Governor’s other transportation revenue ideas.