McLAUGHLIN CONDEMNS THRUWAYFOR PROPOSED TOLL HIKE
Thruway Authority Board approves 45 percent toll hike
Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C-Melrose) recently condemned a proposal bythe New York State Thruway Authority to raise tolls 45 percent on commercial trucks withthree or more axles, calling it just another tax that will drive the cost of doing businessthrough the roof. Earlier this week, the toll hike received the initial green light from theThruway Authority Board. Under the plan, trucks with three or more axles traveling from New York City to Buffalo would pay about $127, up from the current cost of approximately $75. Tolls were last raised on the 641-mile highway system in 2010 for alldrivers, increasing the typical toll more than 25 percent.“Capital Region residents already are suffering under some of the highest taxes inthe nation, and residents across New York continue to be saddled with backbreaking taxesand fees from state government,” said McLaughlin. “This toll hike is yet another exampleof tax-and-spend policies that I’ve been fighting against over the last two years. In a statethat currently ranks 49
in the nation for business-friendly environment, another fee willsimply drive more people out of the state. The Thruway Authority Board is ludicrous tothink that a massive cost increase will simply be absorbed by the trucking industry with noimpact on hardworking residents. State government needs to be cutting taxes andeliminating fees to spur job creation, not piling on even more.”According to the Web site www.truckinfo.net,there is 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 milliontrucking companies with 97 percent operating 20 or fewer trucks, and 90 percent operatingsix or fewer trucks. The U.S. economy depends on trucks to deliver nearly 70 percent of allfreight that is transported annually, accounting for $671 billion worth of manufactured andretail goods carried by trucks.“With the price of diesel currently around $4.50 a gallon, this fee won’t just hurtthe industry, but will drive up costs in the day-to-day lives of Capital Region residents.From apples and oranges at the grocery store to wood and nails at the lumber yard, the costof doing business in New York will simply skyrocket if this hike is implemented,”concluded McLaughlin.