“The Port Authority’s proposal to dramatically raise tolls is both absurd and insulting to the overburdened residents and businesses who will be forced to pay substantially more to use the bridges and tunnels.
Under the Port Authority’s proposal, drivers with E-Z Pass are facing a fifty percent increase in round-trip tolls to use the George Washington Bridge, the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, and the bridges connecting Staten Island and New Jersey. Roundtrip truck tolls per axle would increase by nearly 100 percent. In both cases, these tolls would increase again in 2014.
While these increases are outrageous enough on their own, they are even worse when you consider that:
· New York State once again led the country in the percentage of people leaving for other states;
· New York State’s business tax climate was ranked the worst in the nation; and
· New Jersey and New York have the two highest state-local tax burdens in the country.
Earlier this year, the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo worked together to close a $10 billion budget deficit without raising taxes. We cut spending and worked to create jobs and promote economic development. We also enacted a property tax cap to help further control spending and ease the tax burden on businesses and families. These are the types of actions which the Port Authority should be exploring, rather than asking substantially more from those who can afford it the least.
New Yorkers and New Jerseyans pay enough in taxes and fees. At a time when so many families and businesses are still struggling to make ends meet, we shouldn’t be forcing them to pay higher fees to travel to work, visit a loved one, or conduct business. These increases will raise costs on families, hinder economic development, and raise the costs of doing businesses in a region which is expensive enough. The Port Authority Board of Commissioners, as well as Governor Cuomo and Governor Christie, should reject this proposal.”