North Carolina, Virginia Continue Heated Debate on Tolling

During North Carolina's third and final Gubernatorial debate last week, former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory and Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton were asked to expound on alternative funding methods for improving Interstate 95 after each had expressed opposition to tolling. Lt. Gov. Dalton reiterated that he would focus on public-private partnerships as well as gathering a larger share of federal highway dollars. McCrory, meanwhile, said he would seek to reform the federal formula used to allocate highway funds to ensure that North Carolina receives its share of federal money.

In Virginia, the pressure by businesses and residents along the I-95 corridor has some questioning if Gov. Bob McDonnell is beginning to rethink his I-95 tolling plan. During his “Ask the Governor” radio show in Richmond last week, Gov. McDonnell said he knows a toll would create a hardship for people living in the area, and maintained that a toll isn’t a done deal yet. This marks a shift from Gov. McDonnell's long-standing position that tolls are the only solution to the state's need for transportation revenues. While Gov. McDonnell said he is considering several options, he added that tolling, in his opinion, is the best one on the table right now.

WTVR, CBS 6 in Richmond is asking readers to weigh in on whether they support tolls on I-95 with an online poll. NATSO is encouraging members to vote 'NO' to the poll.

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This article originally ran in NATSO News Weekly (NNW), NATSO's member only weekly electronic newsletter. NNW is packed with the latest updates on government and business issues affecting the truckstop and travel plaza industry.

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