Graf Slams Thruway Toll Hike

Assemblyman fights job-killing fee increase
June 8, 2012

Assemblyman Al Graf (R,C–Holbrook) recently slammed the New York State Thruway Authority Board for approving the first step toward a 45 percent toll hike on commercial trucks with three or more axles. The assemblyman indicated that the negative impact on jobs, families and the economy could be devastating.

“New York needs to make a decision as to whether we are open for business or not, and proposals like these send a clear message to job creators to take their jobs elsewhere,” said Graf. “The problems with this astronomical toll hike are practically limitless. This will force trucking companies out of New York, taking their jobs with them. Companies that remain will send their enormous trucks onto local roads to avoid the tolls, clogging traffic and leading to expensive road repairs paid for by local taxpayers. Merchants will pass the increased cost of doing business onto consumers who already are struggling to make ends meet. In no way, shape or form will this do anything but damage our economy.”

Thruway Authority Chairman Howard Milstein called the 45 percent hike a “modest increase,” even though the proposal would increase a trip between Buffalo and New York City for applicable trucks to roughly $127.

“In 2010, a new crop of legislators were sent to Albany to change the job-killing way that state government conducts business; yet, unaccountable government appointees continue to tax jobs out of our state,” said Graf. “This fundamental flaw in the structure of government must be addressed, and if the Thruway Board will not help the Legislature re-open New York for business, they must be replaced immediately.”

The Thruway Authority is required to hold public hearings on the matter before implementing the toll hike. Details on the hearings have yet to be released.