The New York State Thruway Authority, after many weeks of silence, announced that it will not be hiking toll rates as proposed by 45% on commercial vehicles with more than three axles.
The proposal for the 45% increase was put forward in May with the intention of decreasing the Authority's $92 million deficit to fulfill promises to bond holders to keep the Authority's debt ration at a certain level.
The toll for a three-axle truck traveling from Buffalo to New York City currently is about $88. Under the proposal, that would have increased to $127.
Trucking and shipping interests fought the measure, as did a group called Unshackle Upstate.
After a series of delayed meetings and weeks of silence regarding the controversial proposal, a budget was up for consideration that would decrease the deficit by making spending cuts and shifting some of their other financial burdens.
According to The Post Standard,
the Authority's proposal will eliminate 361 positions, remove the $60 million cost of the New York Police who patrol the thruway from the authority's budget to the state's, get rid of $900 million in risky debt, and cut 21% from the Authority's operational budget.
In a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, American Trucking Associations and other trade groups cited a report that found poor planning and governance by the Authority, saying, "Increasing tolls on trucks by 45% to pay for government waste and mismanagement is inexcusable and will hit all New Yorkers hardest where they can least afford it: their pockets."
Unshackle Upstate called for an audit before any toll increase was implemented. ""Considering the detrimental economic impact that the Thruway's proposal would have on businesses and consumers across the state, we need to put the brakes on any toll increase until this audit is completed."
We are very pleased that the Thruway Authority has withdrawn its ill-advised 45 percent truck toll hike, Brian Sampson, executive director of the business group Unshackle Upstate, said in a statement yesterday. Had it gone through, it would have done tremendous damage to the upstate economy. Related Stories:7/26/2012 Truck Groups Warn Against N.Y. Thruway Toll Hike6/1/2012 NY Thruway Proposes 45% Toll Hike for Trucks