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New York

Victory: Thruway Authority Abandons Plan to Raise Tolls on New Yorkers

The New York State Thruway Authority, after spending months trying to implement what they called a “modest” 45% toll hike on trucks in the state, conducting under-publicized meetings, sending officials to spy on opposition meetings, and most recently – pondering a toll hike on every vehicle in the state – have finally come to their senses.

The Times Union portrays it as some sort of magical epiphany that the Authority had, scouring the bowels of their budgets to find cost savings and thus make the heroic announcement – no toll hikes for now.

Thruway Authority chief Thomas Madison, at a Red Room meeting with Gov. Cuomo just announced that they have found a way to avoid what had been initially put forth as a 45 percent toll hike for trucks.

“We asked for creativity and we found creativity,” Cuomo said after Madison laid out how they will save about $84 million in the 2013 budget.

The reality is, this announcement never would have come about if it weren’t for a bi-partisan opposition movement from members of the state Assembly, and organizations focused on lower onerous taxes, such as FreedomWorks.

State Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin took the time to speak to the Mental Recession about he and his colleagues efforts to stop the tax on New York businesses and consumers alike.

“If not for our pressure, they would have followed through with that toll increase.”

He added:

“They got religion when they felt the heat. And it was us that turned up the heat. So much for the minority not being able to accomplish anything.”

Indeed, the minority.  Along with the voices of citizens making it clear to Governor Cuomo that businesses and consumers in New York simply could not afford an outrageous 45% toll hike in today’s economy.

McLaughlin explains that the fight isn’t necessarily over.

“(We) still need a forensic audit.  Why was their first instinct to raise tolls?  It took them six months to arrive at the conclusion that cutting costs was the solution.”

Imagine that – cutting costs can solve a budgetary shortfall.

Rusty Weiss

Rusty Weiss is a freelance journalist focusing on the conservative movement and its political agenda. He has been writing conservatively charged articles for several years in the upstate New York area, and his writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, American Thinker,, Big Government, the Times Union, and the Troy Record. He is also Editor of one of the top conservative blogs of 2012, the Mental Recession.

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