We are not alone.  Others have joined their voices with ours.  They know that a 45 percent thruway toll increase will be a problem.  Recently it was the Times Union who put out the call. 

Let’s start with the obvious.  A toll increase is going to raise the cost of doing business in New York.  We are already rated as the worst state in the country when it comes to business friendliness.  Do we really want to work harder to deserve that label?  Tax and fee increases should only be implemented as a last resort, as an emergency measure.  New York needs to get its fiscal house in order, but it’s not quite at emergency levels yet.  A 45 percent increase will only hurt, not help, our state’s fiscal situation. 

Any tax or fee increase at the present time is just poor public policy, and a 45 percent increase is just excessive.  The Thruway Authority likes to say that the toll increase is only on trucks, so what’s the big deal to tax payers?  Well, where do they think the trucking companies are going to find the extra money they need to pay those tolls?  Companies can try to absorb the costs, but with a toll hike this high odds are they will be forced to pass on these costs to consumers.  Everyone will be paying more.

Unshackle Upstate has opposed increased state spending, taxes, fees and assessments since its creation, and this is a huge increase.  Trucks already pay more to travel in New York than they do to travel in neighboring states.  Yet, New York is the state that is looking to increase its tolls.  Sound a little backwards to you? 

Want to do something about it?  You can visit here to let your legislators know that this is unacceptable.  Or, if you’re available in August, please make your voice heard at one of the Thruway Authority’s Public Hearings:

Buffalo – Aug. 16, 6 – 8 p.m.

Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Auditorium (Main Level)

Lafayette Square, Buffalo, NY 14203

Syracuse – Aug. 17,  11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Double Tree by Hilton Hotel

6301 State Route 298, East Syracuse, NY 13057

Downstate – Aug. 18, 10 a.m. – noon

Hilton Garden Inn

15 Crossroads Court, Newburgh, NY 12550