Published December 03, 2009
LONDON – A toll bridge built in 1769 across the River Thames has sold for more than $1.66 million at auction.
The Swinford bridge brings in about 320,000 in toll payments from about 4 million vehicle crossings a year.
Due to a quirk in British law, toll revenue collected from the picturesque stone structure about 65 miles northwest of London can be collected tax-free.
It has been free of income tax since the 18th century, when Parliament granted ownership of the bridge and its tolls to the Earl of Abingdon and "his heirs and assignees forever."
Residents have complained that the archaic toll rules create serious traffic jams. Thursday's auction took place in central London.