Editorial: Toll trolls, if you toll them, they won’t come

Let’s be clear.

Tolls ARE taxes. You can word it six ways to Sunday, but it doesn’t change the fact.

Tolls. Are. Taxes.

And when legislators express the desire to enact truck-only tolls, they are expressing the desire to tax truckers for use of roads they’ve already paid taxes to use.

I’d like to introduce all the toll-trolls to the “Heavy Vehicle Use Tax” – a “fee” assessed annually on each-and-every over-55,000 pound vehicle operating on public highways.

(Oh wait, that’s not quite right. It’s not assessed to each-and-every heavy vehicle. There are exemptions. Among them are state and federal government heavy vehicles. Apparently being a registered state or federal vehicle somehow magically makes it easier on the infrastructure. Go figure.)

HVUT is just one example of taxes commercial vehicles pay for “permission” to use the highways. There are registration fees, fuel taxes, federal excise taxes – the list goes on and on.