Assemblyman Bill Reilich (R,C,I-Greece) recently announced his opposition to the proposed 45 percent toll hike on commercial vehicles proposed by the New York State Thruway Authority. Reilich expressed concern that the hike would be a direct assault on businesses, which already are struggling in the least business-friendly climate in the nation.
“This is a job and business killer, period,” said Reilich. “This toll hike would harm all commercial traffic, and the trickle-down effect this will have on businesses and taxpayers alike is astronomical: everything from transportation, shipping, product, vehicle maintenance, grocery and fuel costs.”
According to the Thruway Authority, the toll adjustment is necessary for fiscal stability until a long-term plan is developed to finance its needs. In early June, Standard and Poor’s as well as Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the Authority’s bond outlook, blaming an uncertain financing plan for the new Tappan Zee Bridge and the risks associated with this massive undertaking.
The proposed 45 percent toll hike is expected to cost trucking companies $20 million for 2012 and $86 million in 2013. Reilich noted that the dramatic cost spikes will hurt trucking businesses.
“It seems that taxpayers and businesses who rely on the Thruway as a route to work and elsewhere are paying for financial mishaps that have plagued this public authority in the past,” said Reilich.
“The Thruway Authority must rescind its proposed 45 percent toll hike. If it does not, the state Legislature should exercise its oversight and appropriately cut the Thruway Authority’s operating budget by the same amount of revenue expected from the toll hike.”