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Old 11-26-2008, 06:51 AM   #1
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Tolls In Maine

Just read in the 26 November 2008 Kennebec Journal that tolls are rising up to 67% here on the Maine Turnpike.
The law of diminishing returns is in effect here.
Fewer people are driving to Maine so they raise the tolls and fewer people drive to Maine.
"Out of state motorists, commercial operators and drivers who pay cash at the toll booth will bear the brunt of the proposed toll hikes..." writes Beth Quimby of the Portland Press Herald.
These are proposed rates so who knows what will happen.
All I see is a nanny government getting further out of control, spending other peoples money on foolishness, making it harder to be a resident here in Maine.
Vacationland they call it, no one can afford to live here.
The highest taxes in the nation....the way life should be.
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Old 11-29-2008, 07:56 PM   #2
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For 4 years I have been waiting for a place to exercise my American right to rant about the Maine Tnpk. In May, 2004, on the way to Newfoundland, my wife and I stopped in Augusta for lunch. We generally avoid toll roads and intended to avoid the turnpike and stay on alternate, more scenic roads. Somehow we ended up on the turnpike because they had switched the numbers and the road signs were awful. There was no way out of it. We were trapped!

I've been to Maine 3 or 4 times in my life and to that point enjoyed my time there. But this has been burning a hole in a brain neuron for a long time.

I hate toll roads. They tax the people with the least the most. With locals and trucking companies having electronic passes, the tourist gets it stuck to them. I'd rather pay higher income taxes for good roads.

This saves me the trouble of writing that letter to the governor that I've haven't written in the last 4 years. Thanks for the opportunity, Robert, though perhaps not the response you wanted.

Gene
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Old 11-29-2008, 08:03 PM   #3
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Another note to be mindful of is the fact that the Maine TP charges a 3 axle trailer as as 18 wheeler. My last trip 2 years ago I was over charged $22.00 on my Easy Pass. Since the Easy Pass is registered as an RV I was able to make my case and get the over charge back.
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:02 PM   #4
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i was raised in maine, so the turn pike there is very familiar to me.

that said, what is wrong with the idea that those who use the road should pay for it? a use tax seems to be the most fare option.

use the road = pay for the road
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Old 11-29-2008, 09:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
I hate toll roads. They tax the people with the least the most. With locals and trucking companies having electronic passes, the tourist gets it stuck to them. I'd rather pay higher income taxes for good roads.
Gene
someone once said that tolls are the least efficient way of paying for the roads.

how about nyc? the mayor wants to surcharge the drivers to pay for mass transit!
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Old 11-29-2008, 11:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SilverAvion View Post
i was raised in maine, so the turn pike there is very familiar to me.

that said, what is wrong with the idea that those who use the road should pay for it? a use tax seems to be the most fare option.

use the road = pay for the road
How many times do we have to pay for the same thing?
When we moved back to Maine from NH about 10 years ago the income was the same as we earned in NH, we keep good records, the total taxes in Maine were just $5,000 more than in NH, a bargain for all this great government.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
For 4 years I have been waiting for a place to exercise my American right to rant about the Maine Tnpk. In May, 2004, on the way to Newfoundland, my wife and I stopped in Augusta for lunch. We generally avoid toll roads and intended to avoid the turnpike and stay on alternate, more scenic roads. Somehow we ended up on the turnpike because they had switched the numbers and the road signs were awful. There was no way out of it. We were trapped!

I've been to Maine 3 or 4 times in my life and to that point enjoyed my time there. But this has been burning a hole in a brain neuron for a long time.

I hate toll roads. They tax the people with the least the most. With locals and trucking companies having electronic passes, the tourist gets it stuck to them. I'd rather pay higher income taxes for good roads.

This saves me the trouble of writing that letter to the governor that I've haven't written in the last 4 years. Thanks for the opportunity, Robert, though perhaps not the response you wanted.

Gene
Gene,
I feel your pain.
Monday I am going to start applying for some new jobs, not in Maine.
Going to miss this beautiful state.
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:02 PM   #7
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The taxes are high because Maine is a large state with a very small population and limited employment opportunities. The small population is an attractive plus whereas the limited opportunity for employment is a negative. The high tolls are an attempt to pass on some of the cost of maintaining our sole Interstate highway, in a very demanding climate, to those "from away" as well as the local users. Our incorporated towns, with their small population, often find that they're providing services to unincorporated areas surrounding them - with no hope for reimbursement. We just built a new prison in Somerset county that will cost the county residents substantially more than that same prison would have cost residents of a typical metropolitan area elsewhere in the U. S. - but we didn't have a choice. Winter road maintenance can be a killer, as can heating fuel for our municipal buildings, schools, and hospitals. I'm retired and, as such, I'm not dependent on the local economy. That said, the higher costs of living here are, for me, offset by the shear joy of everything Maine! My son, on the other hand, with a wife and two children, also loves Maine - but he has been out of work for over three months now and he is being forced to look further afield every day.
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:33 AM   #8
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How many times do we have to pay for the same thing?....
every time you use it.

highways need to be maintained. who better to pay the cost of the maintenance than those who use it. personally, i am in favor of more toll roads rather than less. to me, that is the solution to the huge cost of maintaining this nations vast interstate highway system.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:45 AM   #9
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Cost me $53.00 to go the turnpike through Chicago with a triple axle trailer last month. That won't happen again!
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:49 AM   #10
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Cost me $53.00 to go the turnpike through Chicago with a triple axle trailer last month. That won't happen again!
Did you pay cash or with an Easy Pass?

If the second I think you were charged as an 18 wheeler and you can get a credit if your trailer is registered as an RV. The disadvantage of the Easy Pass systems is they are known for overcharging and you have to check every transaction. In New Jersey they will charge you 2 or 3 times for the same event on different pages of your bill just to make it harder to find.

If by cash please post that fact so the rest of us can avoid that section of the roadway.
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:04 AM   #11
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Yep, paid cash (legal extortion) worked out to about .40 cents a mile. That route was a bad decision on my part. I thought I could save time from Indy to Madison by going through Chicago on the 'pike (90). Wrong Worng Wrong. The construction and the traffic ate up any time saved and the tolls cost more (way more) than the diesel for the longer route. I never dreamed the tolls would be that expensive.
On the way back I went South on 39 at Beloit to Bloomington and 74 East and saved both time, money and aggravation, still had to pay a toll at Rockford.
Those of you coming from the East, going to the International Rally in Madison next year, would do well to give Chicago a wide berth and take the western route. It's a much more pleasent drive.
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverAvion View Post
every time you use it.

highways need to be maintained. who better to pay the cost of the maintenance than those who use it. personally, i am in favor of more toll roads rather than less. to me, that is the solution to the huge cost of maintaining this nations vast interstate highway system.

New Hampster is spoiling you. A little taste of some real tax paying is the only cure. Do not worry, there are some real tax increases coming your way.
People complain about the fact that oil companys make $0.40/gal on fuel when the taxes are about a buck a gallon, to pay for roads. Where does all the money go?
Add excise taxes, sales taxes, registration fees, pretty soon you are talking some real money. My last car purchase cost $2,ooo in fees.
They are talking about taxing per mile of non toll road use. Of course that is in addition to all the other fees.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:25 AM   #13
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If you like low taxes, Colorado is waiting for you. Of course, we have a deteriorating road system, a weak state college and university system (they find money for football though), the state parks are supported by volunteers, hardly any rest stops (try and find one off the interstate), and plenty more weaknesses. This state has not invested in infrastructure for years and will suffer in the future. Don't travel I-70 many weekends through the mountains unless you like a traffic jam.

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Old 12-03-2008, 06:46 AM   #14
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New Hampster is spoiling you. A little taste of some real tax paying is the only cure. Do not worry, there are some real tax increases coming your way.
People complain about the fact that oil companys make $0.40/gal on fuel when the taxes are about a buck a gallon, to pay for roads. Where does all the money go?
Add excise taxes, sales taxes, registration fees, pretty soon you are talking some real money. My last car purchase cost $2,ooo in fees.
They are talking about taxing per mile of non toll road use. Of course that is in addition to all the other fees.
You're right, NH is spoiling me, but only on the income tax side. plenty of taxes on property. i have also lived in states that took plenty of my income in taxes. as mentioned, Colorado was very fond of my money, without putting much of it into infrastructure. Same with Oregon, which had the worst highway department i have ever encountered. And California actually seemed to use the money on its roads (at least it seemed like they were always under construction.)

anyway, to each their own. if tolls dont pay for it, taxes will.
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