On Friday, Feb. 27, Joe Sculley submitted testimony to the Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue, and Bonding regarding proposals to increase fees for oversize and overweight permits. An excerpt from the testimony is below. The full testimony is available as a PDF document.
At this time, we are opposed to any further increases in any taxes, fees or other charges related to transportation until an effective Constitutional Amendment is approved guaranteeing that the money generated will be used for transportation purposes. Too many times the Special Transportation Fund has been raided or revenue that should be deposited in it has been diverted by this legislature and several governors.
We would be willing to discuss increasing the fees in the context of all of the increases which the Governor will be proposing to finance his ambitious transportation infrastructure program. This bill would significantly increase the cost for state issued permits for the transportation of over-dimension shipments. These are regularly issued to move certain non-divisible loads, like bulldozers or cranes from one job site to another. They are sometimes issued for very large loads which require extensive routing and escort vehicles.
Currently the Connecticut permit office employs outdated manual approval processing for permit applications. This is cumbersome and inconvenient. Most states now provide electronic approval of certain vehicles over certain routes. For years, we have been working with the Department of Transportation to move Connecticut to a modern automated permit system. As the attached chart indicates, most states have moved to an automated self-issuing permit. This saves time and money for not only the state but also businesses. We don’t believe that we should pay more for an outdated system and especially a new improved one that eliminates costs for both the state and the customer.