What do Tacoma Narrows Bridge Tolls tell us about the IBR project?

May 5, 20240

John Ley & Lars Larson talk about paying three times the amount borrowed for the TNB

Borrowing $684 million from Wall Street and the payoff could end up being $2 billion. “We could have purchased 3 bridges for what we’re paying for the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.”

This is because the state chose to borrow the money from Wall Street and use toll revenues to pay back the loans. The “cost of collection” for tolls in Washington state runs from 19 percent to 35 percent in the most recent annual report, according to the Washington State Transportation Commission.

In the nearly 17 year history since the new bridge was constructed and tolls have been collected, the state legislature has intervened FIVE separate times, deferring sales taxes due from the project, and allocating General Fund tax dollars to keep toll costs low. In 2022, they allocated $130 million to reduce toll rates by 75 cents.

Take a listen.

John Ley

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