Roads cost money and when states cannot afford to build new ones they often turn to the dreaded system of having the drivers who use the road bear some of the burden of paying for it in the form of tolls. And Florida drivers are feeling the pain even more than most.
Many tax payers feel they overly burdened when a toll is enacted because they are paying their fair share of taxes and therefore shouldn’t be charged twice for the same project. However their protests usually fall on deaf ears and politicians have the final say in the matter.
For instance the state of Florida made about $2.5 million collecting $2.50 from drivers on Alligator Alley last year and this year the toll will increase a full 50 cents to $3 per car. That is almost the same price as a gallon of gas, or what it would cost the average driver to travel 20 miles.
And that isn’t the only Florida toll road which will see an increase this year. All Florida state toll road fees will increase, the first increase in more than five years for many of them, and drivers in the state are not at all happy about it. Unfortunately, there is not much they can do about it except drive safe and dig deep if they plan on taking certainly routes to get from place to place.
Other state-run toll roads and bridges, including the Florida Turnpike, will see smaller toll hikes, said Debbie Tower, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Transportation. Most tolls will go up by a quarter, she said.
“The Florida Legislature requires us to raise the tolls once every five years to go along with inflation,” she said. “We’re now making these adjustments statewide.”
Alligator Alley’s tolls were last raised in February 2006.
In 2007, the Legislature decided that tolls should be linked to the Consumer Price Index and changed at least every five years, although officials can raise them as frequently as once a year.