If you have been around here for any amount of time, then you will know that I have considered the introduction of Toll Roads into North Carolina an affront to the purpose the government even exists since the proposal was first floated.
And now, it has come to my attention that it is far worse than even I thought it would be.
According to the balance sheet obtained by the I-Team – and never made public until now – in the 2011 fiscal year, the turnpike authority had an operating loss of $3.8 million. The loss was $11.5 million in the 2012 fiscal year.
In the 2012 calendar year, the losses continued. During first full year of toll collections – the project had $12.2 million in expenses and $4 million in revenue – meaning it was in the red by $8.2 million.
And that’s just the cost of things like personnel, supplies, travel, advertising, and rent. It does not include the interest the NCDOT pays out on construction bonds. That amounts to $35.6 million this fiscal year.
The tolls aren’t even covering the existence of the Turnpike Commission.
The NCDOT said that’s not surprising. It says we’re in a period they call the “socialization” of the toll way – and they believe when we’re used to the idea of paying a toll to drive, more of us will do it.
The DOT also says overall – along the entire 19-mile stretch of highway – it is meeting projections for ridership and revenue.
It also says the road won’t break even for another decade. It expects tolls will cover the cost of debt service, operations and maintenance, and major repair and renovation in 2024.
The price is too high. End the tolling, end the turnpike commission, and restore some sanity to this state. The government needs to just stop doing projects outside of its mandate and focus on the reason that it exists. I was taxed for that road once. That money was stolen. I was taxed again. That was insufficient to cover the cost of the road. And now they want me to pay a toll to use a road I have payed for twice already.