Jean-Paul Garnett: Tolls and taxes

February 9, 2013 

Tolls and taxes

The Feb. 2 letter “Impatience takes a toll” stated the reason for tolls on the western/southern arc of I-540 was that impatient Western Wake County residents had to have their highway right away without waiting for construction funded by taxes. As an Apex resident, I take exception to this view.

When the N.C. Turnpike Authority was proposing an expedited plan for tolls to the legislature and before the Western Wake County mayors endorsed it, I and many others were contacting our elected representatives to oppose it. Partially tolling a road wasn’t even legal when first proposed; they had to change the law to allow it. Our roads, like the Davis Drive and N.C. 55 expansions, should be paid for with our taxes. This is the most equitable system currently in place and doesn’t burden local residents with additional costs on top of existing taxes.

The letter-writer should put the blame for impatience where it belongs: the elected officials who pushed through unnecessarily expedited road construction in the hopes of growing the tax base in their towns and districts.

Jean-Paul Garnett, Apex

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