No More Tolls?
The Hiller Instinct: No More Tolls?
This time it's a group called Citizens Against Toll Roads leading the charge. They're already online. And they've filed petitions with the Attorney General to let voters decide the fate of tolls on Election Day, 2010:
"The tolls need to be closed because it's an unfair tax. The legislature said the road would be free after the bonds were paid off- the bonds have been paid off, the roads aren't free. We feel it's unfair, and we want to see this change," said Michael Kelleher, of Citizens Against Toll Roads.
The tolls will not die easily.
In 1998, the SJC ruled a similar ballot question unconstitutional, saying it violated bondholders' rights.
"Well, we have looked at the ruling back in 1998, and we put in this ruling language that covers what the SJC said was unconstitutional back then," Spencer Kimball, the director of the group said.
Here's a surprise: Ask toll-payers if they'd like to get rid of tolls and they all say, "Yes."
"I think it's a great idea," one turnpike driver said.
"I think it's good," another added.
But one driver asked:
"But who's going to pay for the road?"
And that's the $315 million question, because that's how much the tolls generate.
Still, if this question makes it to the ballot, I'd bet all that--and more--it will pass.
I'm Andy Hiller, 7NEWS.
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