Seward: Audit Confirms No Toll Hike Stance

James L. Seward

January 29, 2008

Senator James L. Seward today called on the New York State Thruway to rescind its proposed July toll hike in light of the state comptroller's recent audit finding that the proposed toll hikes are unwarranted.

"I commend the comptroller for taking a hard look at the thruway authority's finances, and adopting a stance that many of us endorsed last fall that there should be no hike in tolls since the authority needs to straighten out its finances first," Seward said. "The effect of a toll increase -- higher prices for consumers, business owners, farmers -- were never thoroughly examined. I agree with the comptroller and endorse his findings that there should be no toll hike.

"The governor found money to stave off MTA fare hikes for metro New York. He needs to do the same for upstate," Seward added.

The comptroller's report found that the thruway authority underestimated federal funding, failed to cut costs, held millions in uncollected E-Z Pass tolls, spent on non-thruway operations, among other factors contributing to its drive for increased tolls.

"We need a deeper look at the thruway's finances and operations," Seward concluded.