Letter: Judge erred in truck toll decision

Posted 10/12/22

To the editor:Federal Judge Smith of Rhode Island made a decision that truck tolls, not applicable to automobiles, is unconstitutional by the Commerce Clause of the federal constitution.

That …

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Letter: Judge erred in truck toll decision

Posted

To the editor:
Federal Judge Smith of Rhode Island made a decision that truck tolls, not applicable to automobiles, is unconstitutional by the Commerce Clause of the federal constitution.

That decision is going to cost the Rhode Island taxpayer the revenue of multi-millions of dollars in the future if not sooner.

Not being a lawyer, just my opinion that it was a poor decision because trucking is significantly different than autos.

Trucks have many tax permits in interstate travel in every state that they travel through, they have to be weighted at stations and subject to fine if overweight, inspected by state officers, and have to have paperwork showing hours. The justification for this is that trucks have a significant weight that effects our highways wear and tear.

That toll money can and should be used to repave, repair, or replace our highways state and local. We pay enough gas taxes.

The state should appeal that decision.

Richard Ferreira
Riverside
Ret. EPPD

Editor’s note: On September 21, 2022, United States District Court Judge William E. Smith issued a 91-page decision ruling against Rhode Island’s trucks-only toll law in a case brought against the state by American Trucking Associations, Inc., Cumberland Farms, Inc., M&M Transport Services, Inc. and New England Motor Freight, Inc. Smith’s decision read in part, the Rhode Island law “fails to fairly apportion its tolls among bridge users based on a fair approximation of their use of the bridges, was enacted with a discriminatory purpose, and is discriminatory in effect, the statute’s tolling regime is unconstitutional under the dormant Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.”

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.