Op-ed: Anti-tolls frenzy puts Florida’s economic future in jeopardy

There’s truth in the old saying that, “No one’s property is safe when the Legislature is in session.” In Florida’s case, the anti-tolls feeding frenzy under way in Tallahassee puts Florida’s economic growth at risk.

A rapidly changing set of proposed bills would put arbitrary restrictions on the rates charged in Miami by toll roads and express toll lanes, abolish the well-run Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX), turning its existing toll roads over to a hastily created body and making it illegal to issue new bonds to fund much-needed expansion projects.

When it comes to MDX in particular, sponsors of the MDX poison pill keep telling legislators from elsewhere in Florida that this is a local issue that should not concern them. But that is false. The bond market that finances the long-term toll revenue bonds that all Florida toll entities rely on is very sensitive to “political risk.”