The Obama administration’s plan to toll existing interstates as a means to generate transportation revenue takes an old, bad idea and makes it even worse. As members of Congress bristle at the thought, Foxx has recently tried to backpedal, saying that the tolling piece is a “smaller piece of our bill” and is not the primary method of generating revenue. However, no amount of obfuscation will change the clear language of the bill or hide the facts: it is an inefficient double tax on interstate drivers and it will divert billions of dollars of collected toll revenue away from interstate highways. The national transportation infrastructure revenue shortfall is a serious public policy issue that demands congressional attention. However, neither the Senate nor the House should approve tolling existing interstates in its highway reauthorization bill.
Miles Morin is a spokesman for the Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates.