POV | Bridge Tolls Will Handicap Jeffersonville (6/17/14)
I'm bothered by fact that financing the new Ohio River bridges has to rely so heavily on tolls. This is exactly the sort of project that should be completely paid for by the federal government - not local residents. But the crushing weight of so many entitlement programs, coupled with general incompetence at the federal level in effectively utilizing tax dollars, has made that impossible.
While current plans call for tolls to range from one dollar per crossing for frequent commuters to as much as twelve dollars for large trucks, for most of us who don't commute, a round trip will cost four bucks.
If I'm deciding where to have lunch, it's going to make it more likely I just avoid the whole situation by choosing someplace on this side of the river. And I don't believe I'm alone.
Jeffersonville is just as much a suburb of Louisville as St. Matthews or Okolona, and its businesses don't deserve to be handicapped this way. Neither do daily commuters who, even at the so-called "bargain" rate, will be shelling out a minimum extra annual tax of nearly $500!
Tolls may be inevitable, but the burden should be shifted significantly. No area resident should have to pay more than a quarter per crossing. And if that means higher rates for out of town vehicles just passing through, so be it.