OOIDA Sues Indiana Over “Unconstitutional” Tolls
(January 30, 2019)
- Late last year, Indiana’s toll road raised its tolls by 35% for trucks only. Now the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is challenging the increase in court. The group claims that the increases are unconstitutional.
In September of 2018, Indiana’s Governor, Eric Holcomb, announced that tolls on I-80 and I-90 in Indiana would be increasing by 35% for Class 3 vehicles and above. In exchange for allowing the private company who operates the Indiana Toll Roads to increase tolls on truckers, the state would receive three payments totaling $1 billion.
According to Holcomb, the $1 billion will be spent on infrastructure improvements. That includes money to speed up construction of I-69, expand rural broadband internet access, improve hiking and biking trails, put incentives in place to attract more flights to the state’s airports, and fund projects on U.S. Routes 20, 30, and 31.
As part of the agreement, the Indiana Toll Roads Concession Co. agreed to spend an additional $50 million on toll road improvements.
OOIDA is filing the federal lawsuit alongside Utah-based Chutka Trucking LLC, Indiana truck driver Mark Elrod and Ohio-based B.L. Reever Transport Inc. They claim that because the $1 billion is going to projects that aren’t related to the toll road, the tolls are discriminatory towards out-of-state truckers.
OOIDA also claims that once the toll increase went into effect, truckers were paying more than “a fair approximation of the toll payer’s use of the tolled facilities,” which is a violation of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.