Business coalition opposes proposed Thruway toll hike

Jul 12, 2012

A coalition of business groups is opposing a proposed 50 percent 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 that argues that the toll hike would put the state's trucking industry, and all the businesses that use trucks to haul goods, at a competitive disadvantage.

Brian Sampson, executive director of Unshackle, 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 addition toll increases? Where is the money going, what is it being spent on?" said Sampson.

Governor Andrew 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, if you have to raise the toll, make it the minimum amount possible."

The governor says he's waiting until public hearings are held on the toll hike later this summer.