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Should we pay tolls on highways or bridges built with our tax dollars?

Updated on November 2, 2014


Our highway infrastructure is in need of repair with the help of a combination of various government funding levels not the least of which is the Federal government. The question of how to pay for the expensive replacement or repair of some of the older highways or bridges has seen several suggestions. One example is the introduction of tolls especially for larger construction projects like replacing a bridge or constructing a new one in a different location.

Funds allocated from the various government levels are our tax dollars at work throughout our country and the thought of requiring citizens to pay to use such structures built with tax money is contrary to the responsibility of government operations. We pay taxes or at least some of us do and those taxes are allocated to fund government programs and responsibilities. Paying tolls associated with new bridges or highways is like paying twice. Once involves our tax dollars and the other involves the actual toll to be paid to use it.

There is one exception to the use of tolls and that is if a private entity constructs a highway or a portion of one the private entity has a right to see a return on their investment. This is not the case with the various levels of government. They have the responsibility of allocating funds to projects such as new bridges and they should not require citizens to pay to use them when they are built with our tax dollars. In one sense it is double taxation and should not be utilized to pay for something which tax dollars paid for.

Funding for our infrastructure comes from taxes we pay on each gallon of gas we purchase and that money should be allocated to roads and bridges which are in need of repair or replacement. Like anything else it is likely or appears to be likely that this fund is used to pay for other government programs. This fact cannot be proven or disproved but the point to be made is the federal government cannot keep track of where all the money they spend is actually spent. There have been examples in the news that millions and sometimes billions of dollars which the federal government receives cannot be accounted for in their records.

One fact which supports the situation above can be seen in the funding shortfalls of such programs as Social Security. The fund should have been secured but Congress in their infinite wisdom allocated the funds for other programs or responsibilities which were not proper. The present financial situation in which we find ourselves as a country does not mean or should not mean that government can impose tolls on highways or bridges which our tax dollars have paid for.

It also has been recently reported that funds from the treasury are redistributed until a budget is passed by Congress this in and of itself violates the allocation of funds to various programs passed by Congress. It is hoped that this redistribution is reallocated once budgets are passed by Congress. Redistribution of funds from one government program to another circumvents the actions by Congress. Any redistribution of tax dollars which may sometimes be necessary should be accomplished by Congress not any federal executive department. This situation can be a nightmare of tracking funds allocated in relation to where they are actually spent. As previously mentioned government agencies/departments have problems keeping track of funds they are allocated. If there is an individual or group of individuals who are responsible in each of the agencies to track the funds spent they are failing in their responsibilities. If such individuals or group of individuals are not assigned this responsibility there should be. Keeping track of the spending of tax dollars is something the public expects


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