US News: N.C. Congresswoman Stands up to Unfair I-95 Toll
North Carolina’s request to put tolls on the interstate amounts to double-taxation, with people being taxed twice for something they have already paid for once. It’s unfair and it’s wrong, something that has not escaped the notice of freshman Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers, who represents the Tarheel State’s Second Congressional District.
Ellmers has introduced legislation—H.R. 4174—to block her state from placing tolls on I-95. Her bill, the “No Tolls in North Carolina Act of 2012,” has the support of various groups like the American Bus Association, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the American Frozen Food Institute, the American Motorcyclist Association, and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America.
Part of the reason the states are in a fix as far as highway money is concerned is that Congress has been diverting money from the highway trust fund into what are known as “general revenues,” meaning they can and are being spent on everything. According to studies undertaken by the John Locke Foundation, a think tank based in Ellmers’s state, “Since 1990, a total of nearly $4 billion in proceeds from North Carolina gas and car taxes have been spent on transit or General Fund programs,” Ellmers said in a letter to her congressional colleagues.
“It is clear that the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) did not demonstrate that these improvements could be implemented without a toll as required by law,” Ellmers said after she introduced her bill. “While our highways need to be updated to meet growing needs and usage, North Carolina taxpayers should not have to bear further burdens after paying one of the highest gas taxes in the country.”