As many Orange and Rockland residents are aware, I have taken a hard stance against the ongoing and excessive taxation of our residents and employers by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), and in accordance with the views of my constituents, I am now taking aim at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Their recently-implemented toll hike is simply another form of taxation that my constituents cannot afford, and will further cripple our state’s ability to recover from the ongoing economic recession.
In the wake of two devastating tropical storms, the last thing residents need to worry about is paying yet another hiked-up toll in order to get to work. Many residents are devastated by the storms, businesses are closed, roads are destroyed and communities are suffering at large. To increase costs at this time is simply wrong.
To further complicate matters, it has come to my attention that the Port Authority intends to use the increased tolls for outside, non-transportation real estate projects – meaning that those paying the increased tolls will not reap the benefits. In my opinion, and in the opinion of those I represent, toll revenue should strictly be used to fund operating costs and maintain transportation infrastructure.
Just as we desperately need reform, transparency and accountability at the MTA, the Port Authority is also in need of a makeover from the top down. This authority needs to provide greater transparency and accountability with the way it charges and allocates revenue.
I have contacted Governor Cuomo to ask that he help rescind the toll hike and conduct an audit for this authority, and I will continue to oppose toll, fare and tax hikes by the MTA and Port Authority that make it harder for my constituents to get to work, run their business or keep their jobs.
As always, I encourage residents of Orange and Rockland counties to share their views with me and join the conversation online. Follow me on Twitter, send an email to me at email@example.com, or call my office in Goshen at (845) 291-3631 to share your views, ask for assistance, or to schedule an appointment.