Connecticut Governor Plans to Charge Drivers $171M

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper
connecticut governor plans to charge drivers 171m

Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell (R) is proposing a budget that increases the financial burden on drivers by $171M in order to close the state’s growing $850m deficit. Rell’s plan increases license and registration fees, imposes freeway speed cameras and assesses new charges on speeding tickets. If implemented, the programs would represent a permanent and steadily increasing source of revenue for the state.

“Governor Rell has produced a two-year spending plan that does not rely on any increased taxes,” the official budget summary explained. “The governor is keenly aware that the last thing our economy needs now is more money flowing from taxpayers’ wallets into the government’s hands.”

Under the proposal, $70M a year would flow from the wallets of drivers into the hands of a private company operating four speed cameras on Interstate 95. That company would then place $35M into the government’s hands after accounting for the expenses of operating the fixed and mobile devices. Rell has already put pressure on the state police to meet budget targets by increasing the number of speeding citations issued. The force responded with a sixteen percent boost that brought the total number of tickets issued last year to 75k.

As more drivers get those speeding tickets, more would qualify for the proposed “driver responsibility program” that would impose a point and citation tax of up to $2000 on ticket recipients. The same idea has succeeded in bringing over a billion dollars in revenue to Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Texas ( details). Rell’s budget conservatively estimated the new revenue at $27M plus another $32.5M from increasing the base cost of speeding tickets. In Virginia the abuser fee concept was so unpopular that Governor Tim Kaine (D) was forced last year not only to repeal the law but also to refund the fees already collected, admitting that the program failed to improve public safety.

Rell rounded out her proposal by “updating” driver’s license and registration fees so that motorists would hand over another $72.4M to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

The full plan requires approval of the state legislature which last year turned down the speed camera idea when the budget deficit stood at just $165M.

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  • GS650G GS650G on Feb 18, 2009

    Few governors are even considering the possibility of cutting state spending, after all it's all essential to our lives daily.

  • Ihatetrees Ihatetrees on Feb 18, 2009
    Patrickj, gslippy: One way motorists can fight back: drive the speed limit. I'm surprised no one in the MSM has ever done any study on how large a joke most interstate speed limits are. There were those college kids who You-Tubed themselves driving cars in line formation in every lane at 55mph around Atlanta (I think). Other drivers went nuts.
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.
  • Dartdude Lorenzo, the reason for low manual transmission here is that most dealers won't stock them. I wanted a 2012 Kia Koup with manual tranny it was available, but no dealers ordered any from the factory hence there was none available. Go on any car manufacture's web site and price and build and build your model and you would be lucky if the model existed and was available.
  • The Oracle Good news is that based on the model years many of these have already been junked or experienced terminal engine failure.
  • Lou_BC I'm confused, isn't a Prologue a preview? This would be a preview of a preview.