You don’t need to host too many public hearings to know that the NYS Thruway Authority’s proposed 45% toll increase is a bad idea. The increase, which would apply to vehicles with three or more axles will be a big hit to the already-over-taxed trucking industry and will hit New Yorker’s square in the wallet.
There will be a number of hearings next month, and my guess is that each will come to the same conclusion: you can’t cover your costs on the backs of small business. This proposal, along with the recent announcement that the Department of Labor is slapping a $12.75 per employee assessment on businesses to cover loans on unemployment insurance says to me that Albany’s old tricks are closer than we think.
It certainly contradicts Governor Cuomo’s good intentions of keeping New York competitive. While the Governor has stated that this would be a “last resort,” it sends a powerful message that New York’s dysfunction lay just a scratch below the surface.
We’ve seen some forward momentum in New York. Two years of on-time budgets with no new taxes or fees is very meaningful to New Yorkers. This increase would be a setback in the trust that has been gained over the last two years. My advice? Stay the course. Don’t take New York down the wrong road again.