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Congress under pressure to allow more tolls on highways

Feeling gouged by lower wages and higher taxes? Well, soon you might be able to add another thing to the list — more tolls. That’s because some are calling for Congress to to relax federal prohibitions on charging drivers to use roads.

The Hill reports that tolling advocates are pushing the issue, saying more tolls would allow lawmakers to pay for transportation projects they otherwise couldn’t afford. Opponents of such a plan say this would contradict the original purpose of the interstate highway system.

“Since its inception, the federal Interstate Highway System has facilitated unrestricted commerce and travel throughout the country,” ATFI member Jay Perron said in a statement to The Hill.

“It is vital to the U.S. supply chain and has revolutionized the way America does business,” Perron continued. “Tolling existing interstates would reverse this progress, raising costs for travelers, businesses, and consumers, and harming the many businesses and communities located along interstate routes subject to new tolls.”

The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) lobbied Congress this week to ease up on tolling restrictions, pointing out tolls are a substantial source of revenue.

For the most part, federal law prohibits states from converting free highways to a tollway, but Congress has approved pilot programs in some states to allow them to add tolls to existing highways.

Via The Hill