Whether or not tolls are raised on the New York State Thruway could come down to a political battle.
State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno has threatened to block Gov. Pataki's proposal to hike tolls for the first time in 12 years. Pataki reportedly retaliated by sacking several Bruno loyalists from state jobs.
Pataki has to defend the increases while neighboring Massachusetts has trimmed turnpike tolls. Bruno called the toll hike a "hidden tax increase" that would boost tolls as much as 30% over the next 10 years and vowed to use legislation to block it. A Pataki spokesman, however, says the toll hike is "just a proposal at this point."
The New York State Motor Truck Assn. also opposes the plan.
The last hike on the 641-mile toll road was 31%.