Emrick Calls for One-Year Moratorium on Local Toll Increase

Rep. Joe Emrick (R-Northampton) today issued the following statement calling for a one-year moratorium on the proposed toll rate increase by the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission (DRJTBC) that is set to take effect on Friday, July 1. 

“This toll increase was a unilateral decision made by the commission without input of any kind from the general public or local businesses.  The purpose of my proposed moratorium is to provide ample time to hold public hearings, receive public comment and to get input from elected officials, the business community, and local municipalities. 

“Motorists using the toll bridges can expect between a 23 percent and 33 percent increase in what they will be paying.  These toll increases are substantial and will have an adverse impact on commuters, residents and the entire business sector in Northampton and Monroe counties, the Lehigh Valley and Pocono regions, and throughout the entire Northern Tier.   

“I believe that during these difficult economic times, this toll hike will act as yet another tax increase and will thus serve as an inhibitor to economic growth and job creation. 

“Make no mistake; these toll increases will not be limited to only those who are using the toll bridges.  Everyone will feel the pinch from this increase.   

“Since truckers and trucking companies pay more for tolls, they will pass on those price increases to the stores that distribute the goods that are being hauled.  In order for the stores to make up the cost increases, they will be forced to increase the price on the goods and services that they provide consumers.  This will affect everything from milk to eggs, from fresh produce to clothing.  

“Additionally, I was deeply disturbed to find that the Northampton and Monroe County bridges account for 84 percent of the total revenue of the Bridge Commission.  The idea of four toll bridges accounting for 84 percent of the revenue that is supposed to maintain the other 16 bridges is unacceptable. 

“We need to find a solution to address the current toll hike proposal as well as the inequity of the toll collection between the northern and southern tier bridges. 

“Again, I am calling for the DRJTBC to put a one-year moratorium on the toll increase to allow adequate time for public input, and to develop alternative solutions rather than simply increase tolls.” 

For more information on the DRJTBC toll hike proposal, visit RepEmrick.com.  

State Representative Joe Emrick
137th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Joshua Zimmerman

Share |