Assemblyman Bill Reilich (R,C,I-Greece) today reaffirmed 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 is another tax on businesses, which already are struggling in the least business-friendly state in the nation.
“Simply put, this hike is another tax on our businesses,” said Reilich. “New York is ranked dead-last in the nation for its business climate. If this tax gets approved, it will be a job killer and further solidify New York’s standing as closed for business. The impact this tax will have on commercial traffic and the trickle-down effect it will have on taxpayers and businesses alike will be astronomical: everything from transportation, shipping, product, vehicle maintenance, groceries and fuel costs will increase.”
According to the Thruway Authority, the toll adjustment is necessary for fiscal stability until a long-term financial plan is developed. In early June of 2012, Standard and Poor’s and 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.
Reilich noted that the proposed 45 percent toll hike is expected to cost trucking companies $20 million for 2012 and $86 million in 2013 and also commented on the recent postponements of the Authority’s meetings to review the hike.
“The fact that this Authority has cancelled its board meeting twice already speaks volumes to its continued dedication to the lack of transparency and mismanagement that has plagued its past,” said Reilich. “Everyone knows this hike is an unpopular idea, yet they will try to figure out a way to approve it in the least transparent way possible. They should make it easy on themselves and abandon the proposal altogether – it would be best for businesses and the taxpayers.”