Raia To Port Authority: Long Island Is Not Your Checkbook

September 19, 2011

Along with his Assembly colleagues and the American Automotive Association (AAA), Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,I,C – East Northport) is calling on the Port Authority to rescind its recent toll increases at bridges and tunnels in the metropolitan area or to act responsibly and use the increase in revenue toward the enhancement of local infrastructure.

Starting Sunday, September 18, commuters crossing bridges and tunnels between New York and New Jersey were subjected to significant increases in tolls. Cash customers will be the hardest hit. A portion of the projected revenue will go to fund Port Authority real estate expansion.

“We should be making it a priority to provide the best infrastructure to our commuters so they can safely commute to and from work,” said Raia. “It is absurd that Long Island’s families, and small businesses already are subsidizing the bloated MTA through the MTA Payroll Tax and increased registration fees. Now, another bloated agency, the Port Authority, is levying an unfair tax on Long Island’s commuters and drivers in order to pay for separate capitol projects and that’s just wrong.”

Assemblyman Raia is drafting legislation to mandate any and all revenue increases resulting from Port Authority tolls go straight to the state Department of Transportation’s dedicated infrastructure fund. Currently, the Port Authority plans to use portions of the revenue raised to fund separate capital projects in New York City to the tune of $11 billion.

“This toll hike is another classic example of the government going rogue with its highly ineffective tax-and-spend culture,” said Raia. “Projects that will not benefit our infrastructure need to be funded privately, by the state or with the help of federal dollars. My legislation will make sure that these loopholes will be closed and the hardworking commuters of Long Island will not be on the hook for projects that will not benefit their travel to and from work.”