Thursday, January 19, 2006

It May Surprise Some, But Here's Why the Libertarian Party of Indiana is Against Daniels' Plan to Sell The Northern Indiana Toll Road

Libertarians generally prefer toll roads, user fees, private investment and other alternatives to purely public highways. Long term, it should have better results. Short term, it needs to be a slow process in order to maximize ultimate success, correct mistakes to any plan and minimize disruption to Indiana voters who have lived under the present nanny state system all of their lives.

Libertarian Party of Indiana Executive Director Dan Drexler wrote a Libertarian volunteer about this the other day. It is worth sharing to all:

"We have studied it (Daniels' toll road proposal) closely. The way it is written allows for the transfer of the road for long-term interest by a private party. Currently, the only bidders are foreign companies. Those companies have raised the tolls to recoup their costs. It would be the only toll road in the state. The governor is wanting to take the money from the lease and put it toward projects around the state. It is unfair to the residents of northern Indiana that they would be paying higher tolls, experiencing greater traffic on county and city roads and not receiving any of the benefits. Furthermore, the expatriation of the profits seems backwards from what the governor is claiming to be "buy Indiana."

We favor conversion of highways throughout the state to toll roads. I do not believe this is possible without large hoops to jump through, however and obviously. We would also like to look into the truck toll lanes statewide to generate the revenue, or even a toll-express lane -- user choice.

Finally, we have toyed with the idea of reverting the current toll road back to its original management structure -- a toll commission. Privatize that entity and sell local shares as an IPO. Indiana residents can buy in that way. It keeps management local and puts the money back into the pockets of Hoosiers.

So, we're certainly not against toll roads and privatization. But, the way this is presented (by Daniels) is unfair."

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