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Business groups voice opposition to proposed Thruway toll hike

A coalition of business groups is opposing a proposed 45% toll hike for trucks on the New York State Thruway, saying it will have a “drastic” impact on manufacturing, farming, and many other industries.   

Unshackle Upstate is  a member of the coalition,  which argues that the toll hike for commercial vehicles with three or more axles will put the state’s tucking industry and all the businesses that use trucks to haul goods at a “competitive disadvantage”.

Unshackle’s Brian Sampson says businesses should not have to bear the costs for what he says is past mismanagement by the state’s Thruway Authority that has led to a potential shortfall.

“It begs the question of why does the Thruway Authority need additional toll increases,” Sampson said. “Where is the money going? What is it being spent on?”

Governor Cuomo is not opposing the proposed truck toll hike, saying he wants the Thruway Authority to look at cuts first. But he says if tolls are necessary “as a last resort,” then they should be set at the “the minimum amount possible.”

The governor says he is waiting until public hearings are held on the toll hike later this summer and will then consider the recommendations from the Thruway Authority.  Cuomo  has acknowledged the Thruway is in need of additional revenues, especially to replace the aging Tappan Zee bridge across the Hudson River downstate.

If approved, the toll rate adjustment would be the fifth hike in seven years.

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.
Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.