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-0189 Dear Chairman Milstein: We respectfully write to you requesting a public meeting and a toll adjustment public hearing presentation in the Capital District. Holding meetings in Western, Central and Downstate have given businesses that would be affected by a toll increase, including other stakeholders in those respective areas, a chance to voice their concerns. Noticeably, the Capital District was omitted from any public meetings and our area should be afforded the same opportunity others received. As you know, on May 30, the NYSTA advanced a 45 percent toll increase on commercial vehicles aimed at increasing agency revenue by $90 million annually. Under the plan, tolls on a trip from Albany to Buffalo would rise from $44 to $64 for a three-axle truck and reach roughly $95 for a five-axle truck, nearly a 45 percent increase. The Capital District is home to a high concentration of toll plazas and commercial industries that use our state highways. Businesses from Price Chopper to Troy Sand and Gravel would take on these additional toll hikes and, ultimately, pass them on to the consumer. It’s critically important our area has an opportunity to voice our concerns. We have worked diligently with Governor Cuomo to promote a strong economic development plan, re-opening New York for business and embracing our job creators. However, 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 these toll hikes be implemented. Like everything else, the more something is taxed, the less we get. We urge you to not only hold a public meeting in the Capital District on the 45 percent toll hike, but ask you to pause and reflect on what this toll hike would do to businesses across New York State as they continue to recover from the longest recession since the Great Depression. Sincerely,
Steven F. McLaughlin Member of the Assembly 108th District 518-479-0542
Jim Tedisco Member of the Assembly 110th District 51-370-2812