Cuomo: Freeze tolls, cut in half for commuters

Posted at 10:52 AM, Jan 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-07 09:06:21-05

Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to invest in the bridges and roads across New York State while eliminating or reducing tolls for some commuters and farmers.

In a press conference held Wednesday, the Democrat said he wants to freeze tolls until 2020. Last year, the state investigated $1.285 billion in Thruway infrastructure and Cuomo says that will be followed with an additional $700 million. That will allow tolls to stay frozen until 2020.

Cuomo says tolls are a burden on upstate businesses. He’s proposing cutting them in half for everyday commuters. Everyday commuters include passenger vehicle owners who use EZ-Pass and pay more than $50 in annual tolls and business and commercial vehicle owners who use EZ-Pass and pay between $100 and $9,999 in annual tolls.

The tolls would be cut in half through a tax credit. On average, passenger vehicles would save $97 a year, business vehicles would save $686 a year, and commercial vehicles would save $1,872 per year.

In all, more than one million vehicles would qualify.

Cuomo also wants to eliminate tolls completely for commercial traffic related to agriculture. Farmers using EZ-Pass to bring farm goods to market would get a 100-percent credit. It would save the agricultural sector, made up of more than 36,000 farms, 2,270 processors and 700 farm-based beverage producers, $5 million each year.

The governor also wants to invest $22 billion on infrastructure across the state to repair or rebuild critical roads, bridges and other vital transportation infrastructure. The plan is multi-year in scope and will be fully presented during the upcoming State-of-the-State and Budget presentation.




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