Ahead of today’s first toll hike hearing in Buffalo, Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C-Melrose) has contacted Governor Andrew Cuomo regarding the New York State Thruway Authority’s (NYSTA) approval of a 45 percent toll increase on commercial trucks. The move would not only cripple New York’s trucking industry, but a number of local businesses and industries as well.
“Clearly, this massive toll hike would have a devastating effect on our trucking industry, which would be forced to take its business, revenue and jobs out of New York State in search of more cost-effective regions. The negative impact of these tolls would have a far-reaching effect, particularly in my district,” McLaughlin wrote in the letter. “With so many rest-stop plazas and commercial businesses like hotels and restaurants relying on capital from the trucking industry, there are many families and businesses whose economic viability would be in serious jeopardy should this toll hike be implemented.”
The toll hike is expected to net NYSTA $90 million in extra revenue annually. McLaughlin indicated that the need for such a staggering increase in funding suggests that the agency’s fiscal priorities may be out of order, and advocated exploring cost- saving measures rather than increasing the burden on families and businesses.
“If NYSTA is in need of an extra $90 million each year just to complete their duty to New York’s drivers, one could reasonably assume that they are falling well short of their responsibility to properly allocate and manage funding,” McLaughlin wrote. “Rather than turn to commercial truck drivers to fund an inefficient state agency, I urge a full forensic audit of NYSTA to explore potential areas for savings and consider merging the agency with the Department of Transportation if such a move is revealed to be efficient and effective.”
***Attached*** Copy of Assemblyman McLaughlin’s letter to Governor Cuomo regarding NYSTA’s proposed toll hike on commercial trucks.