FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 20, 2016
Contact: Monique Chartier Tel: 401-261-0508
75% of RI’s Legislators Refuse To Go On Record About Highly Controversial Toll Proposal
StopTollsRI.com Urges Voters to Contact Their Strangely Silent Representatives and Senators
Providence, RI-- State leaders are currently considering a highly controversial proposal to subject certain classes of trucks to tolls. This plan would solidify the perception that RI is hostile to business at a time when state government needs to create a business-friendly environment. The impact of such a plan - to our state's cost of living, our business climate, and particularly on the trucking industry, a valued member of the business community - would be profound and potentially very damaging.
But while leadership seems to favor such a plan, it requires approval by the General Assembly as a whole. Accordingly, StopTollsRI.com distributed a survey to all Rhode Island legislators. It consisted of one question: "Do you unequivocally oppose new tolls of any kind?"
That simple question was left unanswered by 75% of all legislators. Click here to see a complete list of responses and non-responses by representatives and here to see a list of senators.
“Voters and taxpayers have the right to know where their legislators stand on any issue, but particularly on a highly controversial issue like tolls”, saysStopTollsRI.com’s spokesperson Monique Chartier. “The silence is deafening on this critical question."
Rhode Island's state and local tax burden is in the top 20% nationally. Contrary to the Governor's assertion that tolls would be paid by out-of-state truckers, it would actually be passed along to all Rhode Islanders in the form of more expensive goods.
“We urge voters to contact their legislators if they have not responded and ask where they stand on this proposed new hidden tax," continues Chartier. “It goes without saying, we also urge them to call their legislators if they are still not firmly against new tolls of any kind. After spending $50 million to erect them, if toll gantries go up, they will never come down. And it is a lock that they will eventually be used on more than just large, out-of-state trucks. Trucks Today, Cars Tomorrow."
Some legislators have tried to hedge their non-answer by saying that they are waiting to see the details of the anticipated new toll bill.
"Deferring to the wording of a toll bill is simply ducking the issue. In fact, it actually signals that the legislator does not oppose tolls," points out Chartier. "Any new toll bill would still involve ... well, TOLLS. Accordingly, we urge voters to contact their non-responsive legislators and request a straight answer to a direct question: do you unequivocally oppose new tolls of any kind?"
StopTollsRI.com is a coalition of citizen groups opposing not just the Governor’s Truck-Toll plan, but ANY toll proposal. The public is encouraged to take action to oppose tolls at www.StopTollsRI.com.
Concerned Island Taxpayers
The Gaspee Project
Little Compton Taxpayers
North Kingstown Taxpayers
Ocean State Taxpayers in Action (OSTPA)
Portsmouth Concerned Citizens
Sakonnet Toll Opposition Platform (STOP)
RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Rhode Island Farm Bureau
The Coalition Talk Radio
Rhode Island Independent Contractors & Associates
RI Federation of Republican Women
Portsmouth Business Association
The Gaspee Project · United States
You can also keep up with StopTollsRI on Twitter or Facebook.