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Group Sees Thruway Meeting Delay as Hopeful Sign

The New York State Thruway Board has not yet scheduled a new meeting, after postponing their most recent gathering.  The Thruway Authority is considering a toll hike on trucks. Opponents of the toll increase see that as a good sign.

Brian Sampson, with Unshackle Upstate, views the delay  as a positive development. He says he hopes the Thruway Authority is reconsidering what he thinks was a poorly conceived proposal to raise tolls on trucks by 45%.

Sampson says the Authority should shore up its finances first, before looking to users for more revenue. Otherwise, he says they’ll be in the same position again soon, asking for higher tolls.

“If you make no structural changes we’re in the same boat a year, two years or three years down the road,” said Sampson, who said the next time the toll hike will extend to passenger cars and effect “the average driver who uses the Thruway”.  

Sampson’s group and other business interests have objected to the proposed toll hike, calling it a tax on consumers, and saying it flies in the face of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s assertion that New York is now open for business.  

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.