Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, said yesterday that he opposes a 45 percent increase in tolls for trucks on the state Thruway, saying he expects Gov. Andrew Cuomo will weigh in on the proposal.
While the Thruway Authority is an independent public authority outside of the control of the state Legislature, Silver said he expects Cuomo — who appoints the members of the Thruway board — to get involved.
“I’m fairly confident the governor is going to weigh in and make it a little less independent,” Silver said with a smile.
Silver said a 45 percent toll increase on trucks would be bad for the state’s commerce and drive business out of the state.
“I think they have to find a better way. If they raise those kind of tolls, they are going to lose a lot of business and a lot of revenue as well,” Silver said.
Cuomo said earlier this week that any toll increases would hopefully not disrupt traffic. But Thruway toll increases appear inevitable to bail out the struggling Thruway Authority and to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge.
The Legislature has taken issue with Thruway toll increases in the past. A few years ago, the Senate and Assembly held hearings across the state about proposed toll increases.
But the hearings didn’t matter much, and the Thruway Authority went ahead with 10 percent toll increases on commercial and passenger vehicles.