Skip to comments.DeSantis approved these toll roads. So where’s the reason to build them?
Posted on 10/30/2019 3:23:27 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
LECANTO When Florida lawmakers signed off this year on a bill creating more than 300 miles of toll roads, they did so with scant evidence the project was needed.
More than five months later, after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed it into law and the project has been vetted in two rounds of public hearings, local officials are growing frustrated by the persistent lack of details about what would be the largest expansion of Floridas toll system in decades.
Were beating a dead horse right now before its even born, said Dixie County Commissioner Mark Hatch, who sits on a task force advising the Department of Transportation on the extension of the Suncoast Parkway from Citrus County to the Florida-Georgia state line.
During a Wednesday meeting in Citrus County, Hatch said the task force is stumped with coming up with vague environmental recommendations when they know so little about where it would go, how much it would cost, and what it would displace.
The plight of Hatch and his task force could be blamed, in part, on an aggressive construction timeline that lawmakers wrote into the law, Department of Transportation officials said.
Transportation officials are usually the ones who pitch new roads after years of studies that demonstrate a tangible need for them. Yet in the cases of the three new toll roads, department officials had not identified them in Floridas long-term plans, where roads of necessity are typically found.
Instead, the Legislature, led by Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, introduced the idea of the Suncoast extension, a nub in Central Florida linking the Suncoast with the Florida Turnpike, and a new toll road that would span Polk and Collier counties.
(Excerpt) Read more at tampabay.com ...
If Rick Perry had a son, he’d look like Ron Desantis...
Sadly, as we learned here in Texas, CONSERVATIVES seem to not see tolls as taxes - after all, driving on a toll road is ‘voluntary’, as they see it (assuming that you have several hours every day to spare). So rather than raising the gas tax a bit, thereby making all drivers spend $100 a year to get traffic moving, they push toll roads that can EASILY cost virtually all drivers $1,000 a year (and often much more)...and their ‘justification’ for that is that it’s (technically) not a tax increase, since there are always (crappy) other options.
In Texas, we spend years learning that lesson and are still paying for it (thank you Governor Perry /s). Sadly, it appears that Florida, already toll-road heavy, will now have to deal with another round of abuse.
I agree Bob. I hate toll roads. Given all the taxes we pay decent roads is the least government can provide for us.
Gas tax is like an anchor that will continue to rise because of low information voters, toll roads provide options and those who pay (Companies/Expressway Authorities) for upkeep need to heavily weigh when to raise tolls or not (Unless in the Northeast with limited options/routes/bridges that provide alternatives).
I dont know about the other two, but the Suncoast extension is unneeded and unwanted.
The government’s responsibility with road construction is only for roads that can be provided for with tax revenues from the general revenue.
The Constitution says nothing about the government’s responsibility to provide road infrastructure to only those that can afford to pay a”user fee”
Central Florida toll roads are a clear regressive tax on poor and lower income people
I don’t recall ever hearing a Democrat complain that toll roads are unfair to the poor (like cigarette taxes for example. Democrats love those, too). That said, a very large percentage of Republicans are not one iota different.
As far as I’m concerned, if the government can’t pay for road construction out of the general funds, then we don’t need the roads.
Democrat Mark Hatch
I bet there’s real estate developers in the wood pile too.
In Florida the developers always, but always, get what they want.
They won’t stop building and paving until every square inch of the state has a mall or housing development or parking lot on it.
First and last time I voted for a tax increase was a county bond issue in Broward to set aside the last bit of undeveloped beachfront in the county as a sea turtle habitat and park.
The bond issue passed, yay!
Then the bought and paid for parasites on the commission decided to swap that land for a bit of land on the edge of the Everglades, development stopped at University Boulevard in those days, late 70’s.
Then they built the Sawgrass Expressway and the house and malls spread another 10 or 15 miles west.
Compared to the early 70’s it’s Mordor-by-Sea now, traffic jams, noise, crime, congestion.
Toll roads in the modern era are an abomination.
Just cut government spending!
Your argument means we should all get free lotto tickets, too.
“Your argument means we should all get free lotto tickets, too.”
Either that or be permitted to drive on roads that we ALREADY pay for out of our gasoline taxes.
New roads not funded by your tax dollars are not new roads funded by your money.
“New roads not funded by your tax dollars are not new roads funded by your money.”
They are when they involve NON-COMPETE CLAUSES which prevent government from improving nearby roads...as happened in Texas under the now-disgraced Rick Perry.
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