This is an open letter to state rep David Campbell who has proposed moving the Bedford toll booth further south in an attempt to catch northbound motorists before they could exit to the new airport road. You can read the full story about this HERE.
Representative David Campbell,
I am writing to express I strongly object to your plan to move the tolls in an effort to capture the airport traffic for a number of reasons.
One of the biggest reasons is efficiency. If our government needs to collect money from us in the form of taxes and tolls it should look to do so in the most effective manor possible. Tolls are not it. Roughly a third to a half of the money collected goes into running the toll booth itself. That seems to me government for the sake of having government. And in our current economy with so many people out of work or taking huge pay cuts and salary freezes I would hope we would want to find ways to collect in ways without as much overhead.
Our state already has a gas tax, increasing that by just a few cents would allow the state to collect as much as the tolls without the overhead. This would also achieve the tax equality which we do not have now. People living in certain parts of the state pay every time they get on the state highway system but people living in other communities pay nothing. The justification I continue to hear is that we're capturing out of state money. The Union Leader mentions that 22 percent of the airport traffic comes from Massachusetts. If that is the case then why is there no proposal for tolls right at the boarder? With all the traffic heading into southern Nashua, I would think we'd capture even a larger portion of out of state money. But even that is something I would disagree with as we could do the same with a gas tax in a more efficient way.
The last yet one of the most compelling reasons to push to eliminate our toll system is because of the harm tolls cause to our environment. By forcing cars to slow down and idle and then speed back up, they use more gas and create more pollution which I would hope we all want to find ways to eliminate as best we can.
I would hope that you and the rest of the House Public Works and Highway Committee would give serious consideration to finding ways to remove the tolls for the reasons I've spelled out here.
Thank you for your consideration,
I strongly suggest others who agree with me about the need to eliminate our antiquated and inefficent toll booth system to write rep David Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org.