Last week, the American Trucking Association filed a lawsuit against the state’s Thruway Authority, which claims that the authority is illegally diverting millions of dollars in toll revenue to fund the state’s canal system.
The group is arguing that monies that should be used to pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the Thruway should not be used for unrelated purposes.
The state transferred ownership of the Canal System to the Thruway Authority in 1992, and the Authority spends between $80 and $90 million annually to maintain and operate it.
Last year, we helped defeat the Thruway Authority’s proposed 45 percent toll increase on large trucks, which would have brought the Authority’s an additional $85 million annually in tolls. The Thruway Authority eventually decided not to increase truck tolls, and instead sought budget savings through employee lay-offs and other means.
Even so, we feel that the Thruway Authority is still too top-heavy and bloated, and that additional savings are possible.