The Suncoast Connector: What We Still Need to Know | Florida Tax Watch

Excerpt: While much remains unknown about the specifics of the Suncoast Parkway (including the exact route of the road) this Florida TaxWatch report examines the potential costs and long-term financial challenges and obligations of constructing the Suncoast Connector portion of the M-CORES program. Essentially, this analysis focuses on the need for, cost of, and revenue potential from the Suncoast Connector toll road as an expansion of Florida’s Turnpike System.  

These questions are especially important because the turnpike system is generally self-financing through tolls paid by users and little or no state and local tax dollars flow to the turnpike system for maintenance or even recovery of building costs. This user-fee-based arrangement makes the turnpike system both beneficial for taxpayers and the financial wellbeing of the Florida Turkpike System. State law even recognizes the vital importance of protecting this financial arrangement by requiring an economic feasibility test for new projects so the system does not become overloaded with costs and debt, which could eventually require a bailout.

Excerpt from the linked report: “it is highly doubtful that the new road would produce the necessary toll revenue to support the bonds to pay for it, at least with toll rates in-line with the rest of the Turnpike, and COVID-19 increases financial concerns dramatically.” -page 29. 

Read the original post with a link to download the full report on Florida TaxWatch’s website.