BOSTON (WWLP) - One of Governor Patrick's main sticking points in the budget is the expected elimination of Turnpike Tolls in four years.
State transportation officials warned that major road and bridge projects could be in jeopardy if the turnpike tolls come down in 2017.
House Bonding Committee Chairman Antonio Cabral called the warning "scare tactics." He said it's highly unlikely the tolls would come down because: First, $70 million dollars in remaining bonds would have to be paid off; and second, the Department of Transportation Secretary would have to declare that the toll roads are in good repair. When Representative Cabral asked the DOT's chief financial officer if the toll roads would be in good repair by 2017, he could not give a certain answer.
Dana Levenson, CFO of MassDOT said, "I'd like to give you the answer of course in a dollar amount, trying to project though where that is in 2017 is not easy."
The dispute over tolls was the basis for Governor Deval Patrick's veto of a $500 million dollar tax bill last week.
Patrick contends that if the toll comes down, the state will lose $135 million dollars in revenue for state transportation needs.