Niagara Gazette

Local News

December 17, 2012

Truck toll hike killed

Niagara Gazette — A 45 percent Thruway toll hike for large trucks is off the table.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the decision to scrap the controversial hike at a press conference in Albany Monday morning. He had supported the hike, saying the thruway authority need the extra $90 million in revenues it was expected to generate to maintain its bond rating. That rating has a large affect on interest rates for the authority and the state will likely bond billions of dollars to build a new bridge over the Hudson River replacing the Tappan Zee bridge.

Thomas Madison, the authority's executive director, released a report on new cost-saving strategies on Monday, which include efforts to eliminate poor fiscal practices, make transformative operational changes and create long-term cost savings. The plan will save the agency $25 million in operating costs next year and over $130 million over the next three years, according to the report.

Madison's plan says that the authority will generate these savings by reducing the size of the agency's fleet of vehicles, buying energy in bulk at a discount and exploring options for joint management of the Canal Corporation, the arm of the agency that operates its waterways, amongst other measures.

Some of the authority's costs will be passed along to the state budget directly funded by taxpayers. That includes $60 million a year the Thruway had paid from its tolls since 1954 to pay for state police Troop T, which patrols the statewide highway. The patrols won't change.

Cuomo praised the reversal on the toll proposal made in May by the Thruway Authority headed by Cuomo's appointees. He had publicly distanced himself from the increase proposal, saying it had to be a last resort.

"I thought it would be counterproductive from an economic development perspective," Cuomo said Monday. "I think the increase would send the wrong signal."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results