In wake of news that the New York State Thruway Board of Directors approved a toll hike increase of 10% over the next 5 years, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara has written a letter to State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli calling for an updated audit of the Authority’s spending practices before any increase takes effect. This would be the first audit of the Authority since the conversion to cashless tolling was completed.
In the letter Santabarbara wrote, “… past audits from your office have found consistent issues with the Thruway Authority’s spending practices, lack of long-term financial planning, inability to reduce costs and finding ways to generate revenue through alternative methods other than raising tolls”. [Please click here to read the full text of the letter]
“The Thruway Authority’s conversion to cashless tolling eliminated more than 1,100 toll worker positions with the expectation that the new system would serve as a long-term cost-saving measure that those savings would be passed down to toll payers, like the many commuters here in upstate who rely on the Thruway to get to work every day,” Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said. “Now, while families are still being hit hard by inflation and the rising cost of goods and services, increasing Thruway tolls will further burden hardworking families.”
Santabarbara also called attention to the pay raises for top Thruway executives reported on SeeThroughNY.net. One example being the outgoing Executive Director who received a 16% percent pay increase from 2018 to 2021. Similar increases can be seen throughout the Authority’s publicly listed payroll.
“With the current rate hike proposal now subject to public hearings, an updated audit will provide the needed oversight to ensure the Authority is collecting and spending toll dollars in a responsible manner,” Santabarbara added.