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Lamont:  Average truck tolls of $8 could buy $19.4 B in improvements

By MARK PAZNIOKAS

The CT Mirror

December 6, 2019

Truck tolls on a dozen bridges in Connecticut could produce $187 million in net revenue annually and finance $19.4 billion in transportation infrastructure improvements over 10 years, costing drivers as little as $1.25 for a medium truck with an EZ Pass and as much as $19.20 for an 18-wheeler without one.

Gov. Ned Lamont released the proposed tolls rates and projected financial returns Friday in a letter to legislative leaders as he and Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, jousted over the significance of an appeals court decision that changes the venue of a legal challenge to a similar Rhode Island system from state to federal court.

The average one-way toll for a truck in Connecticut with an EZ Pass transponder would be $8, higher than the average truck tolls of $5.31 in Rhode Island and $4.18 in Massachusetts, but lower than the $25.49 in New York state, $21 in Maryland, $12.50 in Delaware and $11.18 in New Jersey, the administration said.

The new plan assumes Connecticut would begin collecting tolls in 2023, raising $230.1 million. The net revenue would be lower, offset by $26.8 million in operating expenses, sharing $9.9 million with municipalities, and refunding $6.2 million to trucks that crossed the same toll twice in one day.

A $21 billion, 10-year infrastructure plan Lamont released last month would have been financed with tolls on all motor vehicles at 14 bridges, but it was effectively killed by Senate Democrats. Last week, the governor and Democratic leaders united behind trucks-only tolls, a concept proposed by Lamont during the 2018 campaign and then abandoned after he took office.

© Copyright 2019, The Connecticut News Project. All Rights Reserved.

Hospitals to receive $1.8 B to settle provider tax lawsuit against CT

The CT Mirror

December 5, 2019

Connecticut hospitals will receive $1.8 billion in state and federal funds between now and 2026 to resolve a lawsuit that could have cost the state as much as $4 billion, according to details released Thursday by Gov. Ned Lamont.

The agreement includes a one-time payment of $79 million to the industry, along with steadily declining taxes on hospitals — and increasing state payments to facilities — between now and 2026.

Medicaid rates for inpatient and outpatient services hospitals provide to the poor will rise annually by 2% or more over the next seven years.

Federal funds, provided to the state as Medicaid reimbursements, will cover 52% of settlement costs.

The deal also includes special provisions to protect both sides. Connecticut agrees to freeze all tax rates on hospitals through 2026. And should the federal government change Medicaid rules, Connecticut can terminate the settlement if the state’s overall costs rise by more than $100 million.

© Copyright 2019, The Connecticut News Project. All Rights Reserved.

 

 



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