The Virginia Department of Transportation has made public a plan to propose a $1-per-month fee for users of the EZ-Pass. In doing so, it follows the lead of a number of other states that are now collecting fees to help cover administrative costs and infrastructural improvements.
The change is only "proposed" currently, and VDOT is accepting public comments from now to June 12 (if you want to comment, go to: email@example.com ). Nevertheless, I'm sure this plan or some slight variation of it will soon be implemented.
Twelve dollars a year doesn't sound like a lot, though I'm sure over time it will go up. (The cost of registering a vehicle, for example, might seem to be a fairly constant amount not much subject to inflation, yet it increases nearly every year.) No longer a commuter, I think the proposed $12 seems "a bit much" for the $50 per year I put on my EZPass these days, but I can manage it.
BUT (there's always a "but," right?) VDOT also announces that on many of its highways in the future, there will be no way to pay a toll in cash, only by EZPass (or some complicated deal involving using your credit card online after the fact). That means, in effect, that every resident is actually required to purchase an EZPass to use the roads his/her taxes have paid for building/improving.
I don't see a problem there, but Virginia's Attorney General Cuccinelli might! He is among those eager-beaver state officials who's filed a challenge to the national health care law, on the grounds that the "individual mandate" therein -- requiring people to buy a product -- is not constitutional. Supremes please take note.