NYS Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb Says Proposed 45 Percent Thruway Toll Hike Is A Road To Fewer Jobs And A Less Competitive Economy
The New York State Thruway Authority’s proposed 45 percent toll hike on commercial trucks with three or more axles is a “road to fewer jobs and a less competitive economy,” according to Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua), who today urged rejection of the costly proposal. The 45 percent toll hike proposal received an initial green light to move forward by the Thruway Authority Board yesterday.
“If the Thruway Authority’s proposed 45 percent toll hike goes forward, it will kill jobs, hurt our economy, devastate the trucking industry and send a clear signal that New York State is not open for business,” Leader Kolb said.
According to the Truck Info website, there are an estimated 8.9 million people employed in trucking-related jobs nationwide, with nearly 3.5 million truck drivers, many of whom are independent owners and operators. Nationally, there are 1.2 million trucking companies with 97 percent operating 20 or fewer trucks, and 90 percent operating six or fewer trucks. The U.S. economy depends on trucks to deliver nearly 70 percent of all freight that is transported annually, accounting for $671 billion worth of manufactured and retail goods carried by trucks.
“The Thruway Authority is kidding itself if it believes this massive cost increase will simply be absorbed by the trucking industry with no broader repercussions. That thinking defies logic and it defies basic economics. The cost hike will go directly onto consumers in the form of higher prices on everything from food to durable goods. Some trucking companies may decide that it is too expensive to operate in New York and leave for other states that actually want their business, leading to more lost jobs. Any way you slice it, this toll hike is a bad idea that needs to be put in reverse,” Leader Kolb stated.
“There is some speculation that a portion of the toll hike will be used to finance repairs and renovations of the Tappan Zee Bridge. Instead of taxing commercial truckers to the hilt to pay for this and other necessary road and bridge renovation projects, the Thruway Authority should tighten its own belt as far as possible before dropping a 45 percent toll hike on such an important segment of New York’s economy,” Leader Kolb said.