Wisconsin politicians have bipartisan support to keep tolls out of the state. It’s dumb and plays off our hatred of the Illinois toll system. But tolls don’t have to be the same.
Still it seems like everyone is still so traumatized by our past experiences that we can’t think straight:
A proposal to allow tolls on the nation’s interstate highways is meeting bipartisan opposition in the House … "I absolutely will do everything I can to make certain that it doesn't see the light of day," Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., a former chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, told NBC News. Mica says that’s the kind of proposal that makes constituents bring out “pitchforks.”
In a bill introduced by the White House this week, the ban would be lifted and states would have the flexibility to implement tolls to help pay for repairs to their highway systems.
Democrat Rep. Peter Defazio of California said it is “a non-starter.”"I live in the western United States, [where] tolls are not a practical way of paying for interstates that span vast distances.”
Oh but they can be practical. Here’s my idea:
Implement a national state entry and exit fee. No toll booths dotting the highway, or any of those annoying on and off ramp fees. Just one toll booth when you enter a state and another one when you’re exiting a state. The fee would supplement federal dollars. State residents living near the border, within 20 to 30 miles, could get a free i-pass with their license renewal.
Industries that use our highways should pay their fair share as they pass through. And that doesn’t have to be much either. But let’s stop obsessing over our past experiences with tollways.