Senator Maziarz Attends Public Hearing to Oppose Proposed Toll Increase
Last Night, Senator Maziarz attended the NYS Thruway Authority Public Hearing to put on record his opposition to the proposed 45% toll increase. Senator's statement was as follows:
To: New York State Thruway Authority-Toll Increase Public Hearing
From: Senator George D. Maziarz, 62nd District
Date: August 16, 2012
Re: Statement in Opposition to Proposed 45% Toll Increase
We are here today to discuss the 45% toll increase on commercial vehicles, which is proposed by the New York State Thruway Authority. Under this proposed schedule, tolls on 3-axle trucks, which are often used by small businesses traveling between Albany and Buffalo, would increase by nearly $20. Similarly, tolls for a 5-axle truck, a company’s 18-wheeler would increase by nearly $30. Being a New York State Representative in the State Senate, I understand the concerns facing all of the Departments in the state when it comes to fiscal security, however the impact that this increase would have on the local businesses and New York Residents more than outweighs this drastic change in tolls.
A 45% increase would have a significant negative impact on both the business climate in New York, including the trucking industry, but also on consumers and communities along alternate routes. This toll increase puts a larger burden not only on larger corporations, but on small businesses who use smaller trucks to transport their goods. While the increase may not be seen to matter for the larger companies, this increase will place such a demand and cost on small businesses that it may hurt their production, potentiality for expansion, and may even in certain instances cause those businesses to lock their doors. An increase in costs for any company, especially many New York companies whose lifeline to the State and Country is the NYS Thruway may cause them to entirely rethink their location or could larger increase the cost of their goods, in turn placing a burden on NYS consumers.
Not only would this toll increase significantly hamper NYS businesses and in turn consumers, but it will also place a burden on towns, cities and villages along the Thruway. For a number of years, communities along the Thruway have battled to keep commercial vehicles off local roads, citing quality of life issues. Should this increase take effect, it is inevitable that many businesses will once again take their trucks to local roads to avoid the costs. This will bring significant adverse impacts on these communities, who for years fought so hard to get these trucks out of their communities.
I highly encourage the New York State Thruway Authority to re-think their decision and to vote no to any toll increase. While I appreciate their interest in providing revenue to their Department and therefore the State, the negative impact this increase will have on local businesses, consumers and communities is so great that an increase is not warranted. I am against this proposed toll increase and I urge the Thruway Authority to join me in opposition.