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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

UL- "Lynch's toll scheme: Remember the Big Dig?"

The Union Leader editorial page takes a whack at Govenor John Lynch's plan to divert money from the Turnpike System into the Highway Fund, and raise tolls on the Turnpikes to make up the difference:

Massachusetts funded the Big Dig in part by taking money from the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, even though the Big Dig tunnels were not toll roads. More than 1,600 turnpike users have joined a class action lawsuit asking the state to rebate the portion of their tolls that went to fund the Big Dig instead of the turnpikes.

Gov. John Lynch has proposed the same scheme here in New Hamsphire. He wants to raise tolls by $44 million a year and spend that money on non-toll highways. To make that legal, he would change the law to state that I-89, I-93 and Route 101 are part of the state turnpike system, even though they don't have toll booths. Would that be enough to hold off a lawsuit? Maybe, maybe not.

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