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Advocates Question Ohio Turnpike Lease

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The former director of the Ohio Turnpike Commission and a group of consumer advocates are raising questions about the idea of privatizing the 240-mile long Ohio Turnpike.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm

State legislators have commissioned a study to see if leasing the roadway to a private company could give the state a multi-billion dollar lump-sum payment it could use to pay for repairs on other highways, but former Turnpike chief Gary Suhadolnik says the deal might allow the company to hike tolls. Tabitha Woodruff is with the Ohio Public Interest Research Group.

WOODRUFF: "If the money generated from a private lease does simply come from the fact that a private toll operator could aggressively raise tolls in a way that the state has not, couldn't the state just raise the same amount of money without privatizing? Simply by raising tolls itself without the middle man."

Gov. John Kasich and his fellow Republicans who dominate the Ohio Senate and House have expressed support for the general idea of privatizing the Turnpike, but minority Democrats oppose it.

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