No More Toll Hikes

WALTER: NO MORE TOLL HIKES, WE DESERVE BETTER
Assemblyman demands answers regarding proposed Thruway toll increases.

Assemblyman Ray Walter (R,C,I-Amherst) is calling for a full investigation into the funding of the new Tappan Zee Bridge in Westchester County. With rumors swirling about the Thruway Authority proposing toll hikes to pay for the bridge, Walter is trying to find out exactly what funding already exists for the bridge, if a toll increase is necessary and what, if any, kind of financial plan exists for the construction of the new bridge.

“New Yorkers are already the most taxed citizens in the country. Increasing the tolls on the most traversed highways and bridges will only serve to increase the financial burden on our families,” said Walter. “This bridge, which really only services downstate and New Jersey residents, is estimated to cost almost $4 billion, but we have yet to see a clear cut plan to pay for it. Western New Yorkers can’t be on the hook for a project of this size that we know little to nothing about.”

Much of this news comes on the heels of the announcement that a $255 million loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund was approved for the multi-billion dollar project. Given that this fund is normally used as a means of financing environmental restoration projects, Walter joined many environmental advocates and expressed outrage over this clear misuse of state funds.

“The Clean Water Fund was not intended to be a way of subsidizing inadequately planned major infrastructure projects. In fact, it should probably be used for the exact opposite. It’s becoming quite evident that a financial plan for this bridge does not actually exist; if that’s not the case, New Yorkers deserve to see whatever plan is in place. A transparent process is critical with an undertaking of this magnitude.”

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