As the construction of 14 toll gantries begin on RI highways for the collection of large commercial truck tolls (expected to generate $45 million in revenue for highway bridge repair annually), the state seems to have underestimated the DMV revenue. Last June, lawmakers voted to give truckers a break , the intension was to cut truck registration in half, knowing there would be an estimated $4.3 million reduction in revenue.
So here is the problem, the money from truck registration fees goes into the state’s highway maintenance fund.
According to DMV Administrator Bud Craddock, “trucks that travel interstate, their registration fees are pro-rated to the states the truck travels in. The deal not only includes Rhode Island-based trucks, but also trucks that travel through the state, as mandated by federal law. When you add in the out-of-state trucks, the Department of Revenue says the fee reduction will end up costing the state an additional $1.1 million.
Chris Maxwell of the Rhode Island Trucking Association said despite lawmakers’ intentions, they should’ve made clear the full cost. “It puts a critical dent in an existing funding stream,” he said.