The following is from a press release issued by Rep. Dan Gordon (Dist. 71-Portsmouth, Tiverton, Little Compton) on Wednesday.
This morning, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority in a vote of 2-1, agreed to raise the cost of crossing the Pell Newport Bridge from $4 to $5, effective as of July 1.
Also, most notably, the resolution passed by the authority proposes to set a toll rate on the Mount Hope Bridge and refers to a proposal by Governor Lincoln Chafee to toll the new Sakonnet River Bridge.
"I am adamantly opposed to the entire resolution," wrote Rep. Dan Gordon in the press release. "Raising tolls during the height of the tourist season on the Pell Bridge will do nothing but further starve the tourism economic engine of Aquidneck Island, of fuel. Our small businesses, the life-blood of the economy, will face further difficulty surviving, should this grab at revenue generation take place.
"The residents of Little Compton, Portsmouth, and Tiverton cannot, and will not, tolerate a revisit to the failed past practice of tolling the Mt. Hope Bridge, in addition to possible tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.
"Rhode Island already has one of the highest rates of taxation across the board in the entire country, and we refuse to participate in a failed scheme that continues to demand more of our dollars thrown into a swirling vortex of fiscal mismanagement. There are viable solutions to our roadway infrastructure problems.
"This isn’t it. I can assure my constituents that I will do everything within my power to quash this onerous proposal to milk the taxpayers of every last drop. Enough!"