Initiative 1125 goes after highway tolls. It pushes all the hot buttons. Tolls are taxes, proponents say. Unelected money-grabbers look for ways drain us, there is no accountability, they still don’t get it, etc. Whatever the emotional reaction to the words, the truth is Initiative 1125 will throw a giant wrench into the financial machinery necessary to build and maintain this state’s transportation infrastructure. The highways and bridges that will not be built if I-1125 passes are essential for mobility and prosperity. The projects that will be built, but denied toll-backed financing by I-1125, will drain resources, raise taxes and put other projects in doubt all across the state. I-1125 is not worth that, not even close.
I-1125 will make it more difficult to set and raise highway tolls. It will restrict who sets tolls, how toll revenues are spent, where they can be collected and for how long. That might bring temporary satisfaction to some, but it will shut down an important means to finance big highway projects. It will strain the already-limited resources for transportation funding, put upward pressure on the gas tax once again, and make it certain that more taxes from here will go to pay for the big projects over there. Projects delayed will increase costs and congestion and add to business and building expense everywhere. Initiative 1125 is an exceptionally bad trade.