Tolls are taxes on motorists and businesses. Tolls on I-81 will hurt taxpayers, damage our economy, and harm rural communities.
Tolls Hurt Taxpayers
VDOT has said it will cost $43 million to set up the tolls—money which could be going directly to repairing I-81. According to the Congressional Research Service, “even with extensive use of electronic tolling, collecting highway tolls costs between 8% and 11% of the amount collected.” This percentage does not even include the excessive costs of administration and enforcement. Taxpayer money should go toward fixing I-81, not a fiscally irresponsible government bureaucracy.
Tolls Hurt the Economy
Tolling Virginia’s businesses, truckers and commuters will increase the cost of moving goods throughout the supply chain, weaken the competitiveness the Commonwealth and raise prices on consumers. Communities and businesses that rely on the free stream of people and goods will face tough choices as new toll taxes raise the cost of living on the I-81 corridor.
Tolls Hurt Local Communities
Cars and trucks divert around tolls to save money. It is a fact. Need proof? In October 2018, ABC 57 in Indiana reported that when tolls were increased on the Indiana Toll Road, they saw “an increase in semi-truck traffic on non-toll road highways.”
There is no doubt that cars and trucks will drive around I-81 once tolls are built. New traffic diversion will only lead to more and more road repair, traffic accidents, and delays.