TOLL ROAD ON 404 NOT THE ANSWER

Rep John Atkins D-Millsboro wants to make RT 404 a toll road in lieu of the 10 cent gasoline tax proposed by Gov. Jack Markell, will not solve the problem of a cash flow shortage for highway construction, maintenance of our roads and bridges.

His claim is 404 is the entry into Delaware from those traveling to our beaches from D.C. and Maryland. His argument to me for not putting a toll on RT 1 as people from above the canal, PA and N.J. come to our beaches is Rt 1 is already a toll road, but not in Sussex. Our beaches and the eastern side of Sussex County are populated with retirees from northern Delaware and other states, as well as those across the Bay Bridge.

Why not put another toll booth for Rt 1 around Milford and give the tourist a real welcome? We have toll booths in Dover and Odessa. I’ll tell you why that won’t fly; too many legislators have summer homes at the beach or vacation here.

Sussex Countians also use 404; I frequented that route on my many visits with my former wife to the U. of MD hospital, and many more make that trip to Johns Hopkins. I saw Delaware tags all along the highways on my trips there. Raven fans are abundant here as well as Oriole supporters. They would be subjected to those tolls.

Why do politicians evade the difficult decisions? The Highway funding is supported only by the gas tax. Over the years vehicles are getting better mileage, thereby using less gas which equals less tax. The tax has not been raised since 1995. Yet in that time inflation has eaten away at the fund; I have been told a mile of black top runs $1 million.

The population explosion in the late ’90’s and early 2000 resulted in additional roads and bridges, all of which are showing wear and tear and need repairs. The General Assembly isn’t going to give them any money, money doesn’t grow on trees.

I know this is an election and raising taxes is the kiss of death to elected officials; tax bills are usually introduced during an off-election year; the timing is not good, but that doesn’t dismiss the fact money is needed and fast.

The gas tax is not a popular tax, but it is a fair tax, everyone pays the same.

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4 thoughts on “TOLL ROAD ON 404 NOT THE ANSWER

  1. Actually a toll on 404 or another on Route 1 are both bad ideas as is the increase in the gas tax. Each of these is a regressive tax meaning; although everyone pays the same toll, the percentage of the tax in relation to income is greater for those with lower and/or fixed incomes such as social security or retirement.

    Back to route 404; the only section of it that is a decent highway is the Maryland portion. Maryland would have been smart to leave it the way it used to be so that folks would continue on Route 50 to Maryland beach destinations. Unless Delaware decides to make it a limited access highway, a toll will not work unless we are thinking of it as a blockade rather than a form of revenue. The same would go for Route 1 in Milford; with so many ways around the toll, many folks would simply use Milford’s back roads to avoid the toll.

    • Locals and some non-locals know out back roads and usually use them during the tourist season, but why let the tourist tear up our back roads; let everyone pay the gas tax. You do know the U.S. House has proposed a 15 cent gasoline tax. Face it, everyone in government is looking for money. Either fund our infrastructure or ride the ruts and cross your fingers when you cross a bridge.

      • I hear you Frank; I can’t recall a time in my lifetime when politicians didn’t have their hands out. My point is that these are forms of regressive taxation whether it be the U.S. House or Delaware Representatives.

        Why not get it all done at once and eliminate all taxes with the exception of a flat income tax. For example, if our government requires 18% of all earned income to run the government, then tax every dollar earned 18% with zero deductions or credits of any kinds. If you make $100, you will pay $18.00 and so forth. If it needs to be 22%, then so be it. This is the only fair way to tax in an equal and proportionate manner.

        I know you will love this idea Frank!

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