For the first time in more than a decade, possible toll increases along the state Thruway are being resisted by New York lawmakers.
However, others in the building sector and the Thruway Authority themselves think the increases are required to support the 496-mile system's deteriorating infrastructure.
On Monday, the board of the Thruway Authority is expected to decide to begin the process of raising tolls by opening a time for public discussion.
The earliest a toll hike would take effect would be in 2024. E-Z Pass customers may see a 5% rise in 2024 and another 5% increase in 2027, according to authority officials. Drivers without E-Z Pass may experience a 75% hike.
Lawmakers are missing the point
Mike Elmendorf, president of Associated General Contractors, thinks lawmakers are missing the point in their criticism. "I understand that politicians enjoy beating stuff up like a pinata", he continued.
However, he contends that the Thruway Authority has not received adequate funding, and he questions whether the proposed toll increases will be sufficient to make necessary upgrades to roads and bridges.
Given that drivers already have to deal with high gas prices and inflation, the possible idea has sparked a bipartisan outcry from Albany's legislators.
Republican state senator Jim Tedisco wants the Legislature's ability to veto toll increases and for any increases to be justified to lawmakers.
Tedisco stated, "The law should declare that you appear before the New York State Legislature and that you are bureaucrats, not elected politicians. "We'll question you; you just have to explain why."
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