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10/11/2007
US House Bill Would Slow Interstate Toll Roads
New legislation would force states to pay back federal funds if tolls are added to an existing freeway.

Leonard Boswell
Five members of Congress vowed yesterday to throw a hurdle in front of accelerating state efforts to collect new tolls to existing federal highways. US Representative Leonard Boswell (D-IA) introduced HR 3802, the Toll Road Prohibition Act of 2007, to stop states from adding tolls to highways, bridges or tunnels constructed with federal funds -- unless the state returns the federal gas tax funds used to construct them.

"The American people should not be required to pay for the same highway twice -- once through their tax dollars and again through new tolls on federal interstate highways," Boswell said in a statement.

Boswell was joined by Representatives Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Lee Terry (R-NE), Phil English (R-PA) and John Peterson (R-PA). English and Peterson have led congressional efforts to stop the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation from turning the Interstate 80 freeway into a toll route. Efforts to convert existing free roads into toll roads are also underway in Maine, South Carolina and Texas.

Article Excerpt:
HR 3802
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 10, 2007

Mr. BOSWELL (for himself, Mr. TERRY, Mr. ENGLISH of Pennsylvania, Mr. FORTENBERRY, and Mr. PETERSON of Pennsylvania) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

A BILL

To prohibit the collection of tolls on highways, bridges, and tunnels constructed using Federal funds.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Toll Road Prohibition Act of 2007'.

SEC. 2. PROHIBITION ON COLLECTION OF TOLLS.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the date of enactment of this Act, no toll may be collected for the use of a highway, bridge, or tunnel constructed (as defined in section 101 of title 23, United States Code) in whole or in part using Federal funds unless the total amount of such Federal funds, including reasonable interest thereon, is repaid to the United States from non-Federal sources.


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