Court upholds use of turnpike tolls to pay for the Big Dig

A day after we learned the alleged final cost of the Big Dig, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled the way the then turnpike authority shifted toll revenues to Big Dig construction costs was perfectly legal.

A bunch of turnpike commuters had challenged the money shifting, arguing it amounted to an unconstitutional tax, because they were paying for a new road system they might not use.

Au contraire, the state's highest court ruled: It didn't think the use of turnpike money on the Big Dig was a tax, but even if it were, the fact that the legislature approved it made it OK

Because we conclude that the tolls collected by the authority on the MHS were fees, and because we conclude that they would still be constitutional excise taxes even if they were taxes, we affirm the dismissal of the plaintiffs' State constitutional claims.

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Comments

"Alleged" final costs

By on

Come on Adam, you can do better than that.

OTOH, there are a fair number of people in uHub land and elsewhere who consider the Big Dig to be a crime against the taxpayers.

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unclear...

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...little lost here. You're implying that Adam thinks the cost estimate is incorrect and therefore calls it "alleged" -- meaning he thinks it's lower? I thought the "alleged" part refers to the original article stating that the cost estimate keeps going up because of the compounding interest on the loans for that project. My reading comprehension skills are just going into the shitter...never got past 'aqua' in the SRA cards...

As far as the Big Dig being a crime against tax payers, I'd say there's some truth to that in regards to the implementation of the project (fraud, cronyism, Bechtel Parsons and shoddy-work) but as someone who had to commute on the expressway and get to the airport pre-Dig, I think the project did exactly what it was designed to do and I appreciate that part of it.

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Refund of tolls on Turnpike

Okay, can't remember where, why, or how, but there were news stories in the 1950's/1960's about the Turnpike's tolls and somehow the city of Boston got a refund or something similar - the money went into the city's bank account.

Something like that.

Anyone have any idea what I'm talking about?

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