Friday, October 31, 2014

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Hudson Valley

Thruway meeting cancelled

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Albany/HV: Thruway meeting cancelled
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- A meeting to discuss the possibility of a toll hike of up to 45 percent for commercial vehicles on the Thruway that was scheduled for today has again been cancelled. The meeting was officially cancelled Monday night.

The New York State Thruway Authority has come under scrutiny since secretly scheduling another meeting last week with no agenda and in storm ravaged Rockland County. When news of the first meeting leaked, it was postponed, but not before some critics called the timing shameful.

One critical group was Unshackle Upstate. They believe the toll hike will hurt taxpayers in Upstate New York.

"Keeping in mind for New Yorkers, 90 percent of what we get comes to us from trucks, it comes to us from the Thruway. So if the trucks are going to cost more, the merchants are going to have to pay more, which means you and I as taxpayers are going to pay more for our food, more for our gas, more for our clothing, basically everything we touch day to day is going to cost more. It's going to have an impact on our agriculture and our manufacturing communities," said Brian Sampson, Unshackle Upstate Exec. Dir.

Sampson says multiple audits, including one done by the State Comptroller, show wasteful spending within the Thruway Authority.

A 45 percent toll hike would cost commercial drivers $127 to drive from Buffalo to New York City, up from $88.

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