I heard from one of our numerous friends on Jones Street regarding THIS POST. Robert Brawley, the former GOP House member challenging Pat McCrory in the March primary, has said on-the-record that the administration is planning to toll every major thoroughfare in the state. Their agenda, he says, does not end with I-77 in Mecklenburg County.
My Jones Street source — who rightfully has the honorific “the honorable” in front of their name — says they can recall being lobbied hard by then-speaker Thom Tillis and the governor’s staff to get behind the toll road scheme.
“Tillis and the governor were really aggressive about it,” said my source. “You could tell they, in particular, wanted this really bad. They were really passionate about it. It almost made you wonder what was in it for them.”
My source said they heard comments at the time similar to those reported by Brawley about tolling being expanded statewide. Pro-toll sources were gung-ho on expanding the system currently in place for Raleigh area toll roads — sending you a bill after you travel on the road. Why this route, instead of the old throw your money in the basket at the booth method?
“This way, they said, was much more cost-effective. Much cheaper,” my source said. “The big problem many people at the time had with the legislation was that the toll plan appears to unfairly gouge the local people who live near and around the toll roads themselves. Out-of-state drivers can get out of paying. There was no mechanism in place to collect from out-of-state drivers who use the toll roads and choose not to pay. In North Carolina, the DMV has numerous ways to crack down on residents who don’t pay the tolls. But the agency has no authority over DMVs in other states and drivers licensed in those states.”