Drudge Report RI EXCLUSIVE: Near checkmate injunction to shut down gantries filed by RI Trucking, Rhode Island even closer than ever to tolling cars
The Drudge Report RI confirmed the American Trucking Association, Cumberland Farms, M&M Transport Services, and New England Motor Freight have filed a preliminary injunction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(a) which prohibits Peter Alviti, Jr., as Director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation from collecting truck tolls imposed by Rhode Island as part of its “RhodeWorks” program.
The Plaintiffs contend that after Alviti and the RIDOT lost two appeals to throw out the suit filed by the ATA et. al., it is necessary and proper for the court to impose a halt to collecting tolls until the matter is resolved permanently.
The injunction proclaims that the governing standards are settled, and that the Commerce Clause “prohibits economic protectionism—that is, regulatory measures designed to benefit in-state economic interests by burdening out-of-state competitors.”
The injunction clearly proves this was both the nature and intent of the Rhode Island truck-only tolls;
The state officials responsible for enactment of the RhodeWorks scheme were candid about their intent to place the bulk of the burden for maintaining Rhode Island’s bridges on out-of-state entities while sparing local users of those facilities from that burden—with the explicit goal of exporting the state tax burden to out-of-state payers. This intent is readily apparent in several aspects of the RhodeWorks system.
The proof cited regarding the state’s intent is overwhelming:
Quoting Christopher Judson in The Economic Impact of RhodeWorks: An Accelerated Transportation Restoration Plan, the motion for injunction reads:
[T]he State considered an approach that would have relied partially on gasoline and diesel-fuel-tax increases, “which are borne primarily by Rhode Island businesses and consumers.” . . . But it instead chose to derive all of the RhodeWorks revenue from tolls that were purposely designed to fall largely on “semi-tractor trailer trucks that pass through the state without stopping. That is, these trucks’ trips originate at an out of state location and terminate at an out of state location and simply use Rhode Island’s roads as a conduit for making the trip.”
Even the Governor’s ally in the media, the Providence Journal, in an article titled Plan shifts burden off R.I., Patrick Anderson & Katherine Gregg quote Raimondo as saying, “The reason I prefer the tolling proposal is because the majority of the burden is on out-of-state truckers . . .“
Similar quotes are cited in the motion for injunction, inclusive of comments from Governor Raimondo’s spokeswoman, Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello, and even the RIDOT Director Peter Alviti himself.
Clearly, the leadership in Rhode Island not only knew of the discriminatory effects of truck only tolls, they bragged about it often.
This begs the question, are Raimondo, Alviti, Mattiello, and the entire host of Democrat legislators simply ignorant of the laws they are tasked to uphold, or do they know better but simply hoodwinked gullible Rhode Islanders into allowing tolls for trucks as a half measure before they were to toll everyone?