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Bill Would Prohibit Tolls on I-95 in North Carolina

3/12/2012 12:00:00 PM
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Plans to charge a toll on Interstate 95 in North Carolina will make it more difficult for businesses to quickly and cheaply ship goods up and down the East Coast, the Associated Press reported, while a federal lawmaker has introduced a bill that would prohibit tolling the major north-south artery in the state.

North Carolina, Virginia and Missouri last year said they were considering new tolls as a way to pay for expanding and upgrading interstates.

Under a current proposal, cars would be charged $19.20 for using the interstate’s entire 182-mile length through North Carolina, while trucks could be charged nearly three times that amount, AP reported.

Meanwhile, Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) introduced a bill in Congress last week that would prohibit tolling.

The measure would “forbid the Federal Highway Administration from approving a pilot program that would enact tolls on I-95 in order to pay for its expansion.� Ellmers said in a statement.

“After hearing from numerous constituents and businesses up and down the I-95 corridor, it is clear that [the North Carolina Department of Transportation] did not demonstrate that these improvements could be implemented without a toll as required by law.

While our highways need to be updated to meet growing needs and usage, North Carolina taxpayers should not have to bear further burdens after paying one of the highest gas taxes in the country,� the statement said.

Chains such as Food Lion, Wal-Mart, and Lowe’s, all of which have North Carolina distribution centers that employ hundreds of workers, near the highway, AP reported.

The world’s largest hog slaughterhouse operated by Smithfield Foods and one of the nation’s largest food-service distributors for restaurants built near the interstate, AP said.

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Emil Estafanous, CPA, CFF, CGMA