Starting Oct. 5, the Indiana Finance Authority, with support from Gov. Eric Holcomb, implemented a 35 percent toll increase for heavy vehicle drivers traveling the state’s toll road. The increase is expected to raise $1 billion for Indiana’s Next Level Connections Program.
The truckers, which are represented in the lawsuit by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), said the toll increase is discriminatory and violates the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.
OOIDA’s lawsuit further noted the toll increases subsidize services and facilities provided by the state that have no relationship to the Indiana Toll Road.
In addition to stopping the tolls, the lawsuit seeks reimbursement of tolls paid by truckers since Oct. 5.
“The governor has admitted publicly that the increased tolls on truckers were intended for out-of-state users,” said OOIDA President Todd Spencer in a statement. “He seems to think that, in his own words, ‘capturing other people’s money’ is OK. He would be very wrong about that. Truckers are not rolling piggy banks.”
OOIDA pointed out that Indiana’s tolls have increased since 2006, when the toll road was leased by the state to the ITR Concession Co. (ITRCC).
The association said the 35 percent toll increase causes truckers to pay $60 to use the 156-mile Indiana toll road. Truckers are generally not reimbursed for these fees, OOIDA said.