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Senate does away with SunPass discount

by Dara Kam | April 7th, 2011

Motorists could say bye-bye to the 25 cent savings they typically get when use the SunPass card to speed through Florida toll exchanges.

The Senate approved a bill (SB 2152) merging the state’s turnpike authorities that includes an end to the 5% SunPass discount over the objections of several Republicans.

“We should not raise the fees. Keep our word,” argued Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, who tried to amend the bill to take out the elimination of the discount.

Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander argued that the discount began when SunPass was created to ease back-ups at toll booths. Since then, SunPass users enjoy special lanes they can zip through without even slowing down, Alexander said.

Doing away with the discount would add $100 million to the state’s transportation budget, which translates into $1 billion worth of projects if bonded.

“For me I think that’s worthwhile doing,” Alexander, R-Lake Wales, said.

Norman’s amendment died on a voice vote, and the bill passed by a 28-11 vote.

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34 Responses to “Senate does away with SunPass discount”

  1. Unreal Says:

    So the base idea behind this increase is the GOP plans on using the excess to borrow another $1 billion for transportation projects.
    Hope all of you tea party fiscal conservatives are paying attention. Borrowing for road projects is what Obama and the Dems are all about.
    They should take the $100 mil and save it or allocate it against spending cuts to the handicapped or mentally disabled who are losing funding.
    The GOP sickens me as much as the left.

  2. Gabe Athouse Says:

    Ron Paul & Jesse Ventura 2012.

  3. Brown.Pelican Says:

    Less than 1/3 of the legislators opposed this bill enough to vote against it. That means that 2/3 of the legislature are FOR raising fees and taxes on the working people of Florida who have to drive the turnpike to get to work.

    PBPost should ask what the state is doing with all the money they have from everyone’s Sunpass account that sits in some slush fund earning interest somewhere…

  4. PBC Resident Says:

    Maybe it has something to do with them getting rid of tollbooths. From now on a camera will record your plate number and send you a bill. I imagine many will just get a sunpass instead so they won’t have a bunch of different bills to pay or get lost in the mail.

    Ironic how the senate voted against red light cameras over privacy(I agree) but don’t see the privacy violations they have created on the turnpike…..

    I liked the booths because I got a paper that told me how much each segment of the turnpike would cost and where the exits were. I liked to know up front what I would be charged. I liked the assumption that my whole trip wouldn’t be monitored and stored in a database. I also liked the idea that tourists pay their share upfront. NOw they won’t have to pay the bill they get sent out of state….

  5. Dirk Says:

    These jokers have removed the incentive for citizens to park cash in their sun pass account until used.Good-bye toll roads,hello Tri rail.

  6. Richard Cranium Says:

    Big deal. I’ll gladly pay the same toll as all you schmucks waiting to pay cash. Electronic tolls are going away anyhow, everything is going to be billed through you license plate. Smart move

  7. Thanks for nothing! Says:

    Great! So getting to and from work has gotten even more expensive.

    Currently I spend just under $10 per day commuting to get to and from work. Now that will end up being closer to $11 per day.

    Of course I can forgo the Turnpike and take I95, but then I end up wasting more time and $ in stop and go traffic on Okeechobee Blvd to get to I95.

    So thanks to the Republican majority in Tallahassee, the working man gets shafted again.

  8. StuBum Says:

    HEY DICK BRAIN….WAIT TIL THEY SEND YOU SOMEONE ELSES BILL…..YOU DUMBASS!

  9. Leno Says:

    We won’t raise taxes we will just raise fees. That’s not the same right? NO.
    Sucker everyone into getting a sunpass with the discount and then do away with it. This will cover the $6 million that will not pay with the pay by plate routine. Remember who these legislators are. A complete change is needed.

  10. NOBAMA Says:

    RAND PAUL in 2012 !!!! Anyone but idiot obama with his 3 WARS.

  11. FSU_Julian Says:

    I don’t have too much of a problem with the idea of equalizing the tolls for cash and sunpass, but now I don’t see the advantage to my sunpass. Won’t raise my taxes huh? BULL, you raise my tuition, shrink my financial aide and now you make me cringe that much more to think about taking a trip back down from Tally to WPB. OH, I’ll take the train! Oh, wait……. I can’t…

    Did our legislators go to school? Let me revise that question, Did they graduate? Doesn’t seem like it, and I’m only a Junior.

  12. Richard Cranium Says:

    Hey Stu, bet you don’t earn enough to write your tolls off on your taxes eh? Simply check the box that say EITC on your return

  13. Asim Says:

    Although I normally dont like what GOP has to say about lot of issues, but doing away with this discount makes perfect sense specially if it could support new projects. Paying 5% extra per house hold probably mean 1-2 extra dollars per day which is really not back breaker. If you compare the overall benefit that everyone can achieve from a billion dollar state project, paying coupel dollars per day is not that much. An no i am not rich, just an average lower middle class citizen.

  14. PBC Resident Says:

    Hey, that $100m raised will go to the general transportation fund? I thought turnpike fee’s were supposed to only go towards the turnpike? If we will have a $100m surplus, that means the turnpike is now officially paid off. It’s supposed to now be a non-toll road. Tolls were only supposed to last until it was paid off…..

    Why do we call it the “Ronald Regan Turnpike”? Why do we keep charging toll fees thirty years after they were supposed to end?

  15. StuBum Says:

    Save your money DICK…..I’d hate to take advantage of a mentally challenged individual like your self.

  16. JupiterGuy Says:

    @NOBAMA, he didn’t start two of them, your hero Georgie porgie did. And Libya isn’t a war, it’s a no-fly zone. We are already defering command to NATO and the UN.

  17. BobinBoynton Says:

    They have already said that once the Toll Booths are gone there is nothing they can do to enforce the collection of tolls. They claim the percentage that pay will make up for those that don’t. I have Sun Passes in all of my vehicles. If they are going to screw me and take away what they promised when I purchased them then I will just simply remove the sun pass units from my cars and let them chase me down for the tolls.
    FYI- The Florida Turnpike has been paid for for years! The money we pay now is just for maintenance. It is a cash cow and that is why they can do away with the toll booths. Eventually the tolls will just go away.

  18. The Mechanic Says:

    what a bunch of tools

  19. Richard Cranium Says:

    Wow, these blogs are great! Know I know for sure “the masses are asses” Sorry I touched a nerve there buddy, but there is a price to pay for convenience and maintenance of our highways. Our trucks pay extra in registration fees because of their weight and the extra damage they inflict due to their weight. We also pay higher tolls. I look forward to receiving a monthly bill for my trucks tolls without having to be concerned about having a Sunpass or e-pass stolen. Relax.

  20. Thom Says:

    I’m tempted to give up my SunPass just to increase the need for toll attendants.

  21. TR Says:

    I forgot my SunPass and drove from Palm Beach to Miami both ways through SunPass lanes. Still haven’t received a bill or a ticket. Wonder how those license plate blur covers will work ;)

  22. Ignignokt Says:

    Nice .

    I drive to Miami Beach from Delray every day on a road hijacked from us for revenue that was paid for by taxes , only to be told the convenience is now
    not so much a convenience . So funny this came about now that Sunpass is the “only way to pay” .
    Stick it up your righteous anus , Tallahassee .

  23. LicenseToSteal Says:

    I am going to continue voting against all incumbents in every election.

  24. luckydog Says:

    The sun pass put many people out of work. That saved a lot of money. Now the liberals: Democrats and Republicans want to squeeze all they can out of the public.Vote the bums out!

  25. LarryH Says:

    I’m just going to remove the sunpass’s from my three car’s and they can send me a bill and when I get around to it I will pay it and stay off the damn road from now on! Lets just lay over like good fat dogs and take all the crap they give us!

  26. Plead the 5th 75 Times Says:

    Yet another tax increase in disguise by the FloriDUH’s GOP legislature.

  27. nunyabuznez Says:

    Has anyone noticed that most legislators speak in “Newspeak.” The Republicans adamently cry “No New Taxes”as they increase tolls on the turnpike. The public was promised that tolls on the turnpike would be used to pay off the bonds needed to build the turnpike and then the tolls would be used for repairs and expanding the turnpike capacity. In newspeak the money collected would be used elsewhere.

  28. tequesta Says:

    eliminating the sunpass discounts will reduce sunpass traffic and increase the need for toll booth operators thereby costing the taxpayers more money. The money created by the discount reduction has to be reduced by the amount of additional state worker payroll before it can be counted as bonus cash for the pols.

  29. nunyabuznez Says:

    Florida Legislators communicate in “Newspeak 2011.” The mantra of Republicans is “No new taxes.” In “Newspeak 2011” that means it is OK to raise funds as long as it is not called a tax. Turnpike tolls are being raised to add 100 million to the State’s transportation budget. Originally the Legislature promised that after the Turnpike tolls paid off the bonds used to pay for constructing the Turnpike, all additional tolls were to be used for Turnpike upkeep and expansion. You need to study the Newspeak 2011 dictionary in order to understand what Legislators mean before the 2012 elections.

  30. Buck Naked Says:

    I had sex with Rick Scott’s mother.

  31. JimmyJack Says:

    They really got you over a barrel on this one. No one (in their right mind) is going to give up their SunPass. The only option is to not take the Turnpike, Sawgrass, etc.

  32. bottomfeeder Says:

    I hope all this crying and bitchin makes you all feel warm a fuzzy inside as if these post really make a difference.The politicians are sitting back laughing at us,all the way to the bank.Bait and switch ,this is not a new concept.

  33. Brilliant Idea Says:

    Don’t think they’re bringing back toll attendants. They’re gone for good. It’s real simple — to drive the turnpike you’ll need a SunPass. No more cash tolls. And if you don’t pay, rack up enough violations and your license is suspended. And when you get stopped for anything, you go to jail.

  34. Tony Says:

    Is it just me or this just another smoke and mirrors tactic to distract us from the fact that the Turnpike was paid for years ago and should not be a toll road at all.

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