Tolls are simply taxes, but unlike the fuel tax, tolls waste too much of the taxpayer's dollar on unneeded government bureaucracy and expenses, Hilldrup Moving Company Chairman Charles McDaniel said in his recent op-ed column in Fredericksburg's Free Lance-Star newspaper on September 30. McDaniel's column is another example of the public outcry that is keeping attention on Virginia's application to place tolls on the I-95 corridor. As the op-ed points out, opposition continues to grow against the Governor's tolling initiative, which includes the trucking industry, businesses along the corridor, thousands of Southside Virginians, 20 local governments, five economic and transportation planning organizations, and current and former elected leaders.
In addition to tarnishing the state's business friendly image and creating safety concerns due to traffic diversion, the column points out imposing an $8 tax on the residents of economically depressed southern Virginia, who rely on I-95 to go to work and school is fundamentally unfair. "It is no wonder that the people of Southside Virginia feel that they are being unfairly targeted by VDOT's 'reverse Robin Hood' scheme of imposing tolls in one of the most economically distressed areas of the commonwealth to fund highway projects in one of the state's most affluent areas," McDaniel said. The Virginia Department of Transportation has proposed collecting tolls in a single location on I-95, but intends to use the revenues along the entire 176-mile corridor.
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