Central Florida currently has eight toll roads and one Interstate (I-4). The Interstate is currently the only freeway highway in Central Florida. The tolls were supposed to be a “temporary tax” to cover “the initial construction costs”. However in Central Florida, the Florida Turnpike is now 55 years old, the BeeLine Expressway is 45 years old and the East/West Expressway is 39 years old and the toll taxes are higher today than ever before. Additionally, in South Florida I-75 turns into a toll road, known as Alligator Alley, at Naples and goes to Ft. Lauderdale.
Sally Baptiste from AmericanStatesman.org notes, “Bottom line – toll roads have become a cash cow for the state of Florida and other states. In the case of the BeeLine Expressway, the initial construction 45 years ago was only 6 million dollars. Through my research I also learned that the Florida gas tax money is used to pay for ‘general state expenses’ and not the roads.”
“The politicians will never admit that highways are the LEAST expensive form of transportation and the number one choice of Americans. The politicians are perfectly content to ignore citizens in support their special interest groups. The politicians are perfectly content to ignore the transportation facts and waste our tax dollars in the interest of their personal agendas,” states Baptiste.
Baptiste provides the following points about toll roads in Florida and across America:
- Toll taxes go AGAINST the public interest. They do not “promote the general welfare” of the people.
- There are better ways to increase funds for roads with no tax increase or a very very minimal tax increase. However, this requires those in public office to work in the best interest of the people – not their special interests and in some cases their own financial interests (i.e. OOCEA Scott Batterson is one example).
- Toll taxes are nothing more than a tax against the people.
- Toll taxes have nothing to do with improving transportation. “Tolls create gridlock”.
- Toll taxes are a cash cow for the State of Florida and the local municipalities.
- Toll taxes are regressive. Lower income individuals are harmed the most and toll taxes represent a major expense to small businesses.
- The “User Fee” explanation is inaccurate, but is easy way to lure taxpayers. It ignores all the taxes we already pay for use of the roads and everyone pays for “Toll Abuse”. Everyone’s cost of living goes up and disposable income is reduced which takes money out of the local economy. These are a few of the costs associated with “Toll Abuse”.
- The Interstate Highway system was seen as one of the best economic investments made. It supports the economy, national security, law enforcement, emergency services and improved the quality of life for all Americans.
- The privatization of public assets and infrastructure is part of Agenda 21. The goal is to limit mobility of the American people and make money for government in the process. This does not “promote the general welfare” – toll taxes go against the public interest.
Baptiste asks the typical Florida motorist: Would you rather pay $1200 a year in toll taxes PLUS $300 gas taxes or $400 in gas taxes with access to all roads?
To learn more visit StolenLanes.org.