Virginia legislators introduce I-81 toll bill

January 23, 2019 11:44 AM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

CAMP HILL, Pa. – Last Wednesday, Virginia state legislators introduced bills that would enact tolls along Interstate 81 amid heavy backlash from the transportation industry.

The tolls would vary for commercial and passenger vehicles, starting at 17 cents per mile for trucks and 11 for other drivers. The bill allows for an annual pass for passenger vehicles that is expected to cost are $30 annually.

The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates and the American Trucking Associations have both made strong statements against the legislation.

“Putting tolls on Interstate 81 would have many negative consequences for not only western Virginia, but the whole commonwealth,” Stephanie Kane, spokeswoman for Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates, told The Roanoke Times.

“Imposing tolls on existing lanes of I-81 will increase shipping costs for goods, suppress consumer activity, waste revenues on bureaucratic administration, double-tax businesses, divert traffic onto local roads, and negative impact residents and communities located around toll facilities.”

Last week, Jennifer Hall, who is the General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Legal Affairs for the ATA penned a letter to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam outlining that the proposed tolling “would not only be poor public policy, but would also raise serious legal issues.”

The letter, which can be read in full here, cites U.S. Supreme Court cases that bring into question the constitutionality of the proposed bill. The ATFI went into more detail about the potential laws in a press release this morning.

The ATFI has launched a new website, www.keeptollsoff81.com, to provide information about the potential legislation as well as a conduit for citizens to express their opposition to their representatives. According to the ATFI, more than 2400 letters have been sent to law makers and 130 people have signed the online petition at KeepTollsOff81.com.



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