New York State (WRGB) — One NYS lawmaker is looking to save you some money as you get ready to make travel plans this summer.
Asm. Angelo Santabarbara has introduced a bill that would temporarily eliminate tolls on the Thruway.
The bill would set a “toll holiday” for June, July, and August.
Santabarbara says the bill would help businesses and the average driver.
The summer months are important for tourist attractions and giving potential travelers a break on expenses could encourage more trips, vacations, and visits.
The average driver is also, right now, faced with inflation and mounting gas prices that could climb even higher.
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The assemblyman feels getting rid of tolls this summer could provide just a bit of relief.
"This initiative is a good way to give back, to help people put more of their money back into their pockets...but also give the economy a boost. Support tourism, encourage people to travel, to get back on the road to go on vacation with their families here in New York State...I think it's an initiative that could really have an impact on people in our communities,” said Asm. Santabarbara.
The NYS Thruway Authority is taking issue with the assemblyman’s proposal because the money made through tolls is used for its operating costs and maintenance needs.
The NYS Thruway Authority released the following statement:
“Removing tolls would cut off the only dedicated revenue stream used to maintain and operate our 570-mile system each and every day. The Thruway is a user-fee system supported by tolls paid by the people who use it, and not one cent of local or state taxpayer dollars pays to operate or maintain it. Roughly one-third of motorists on the Thruway in the summer months are out of state drivers, so removing tolls gives them a free pass and shifts the cost to hard working New York taxpayers. Our revenue must come from somewhere, and we think the fairest approach is that only those who use the Thruway, pay for it.”
Santabarbara says under his proposal; that state’s surplus of federal aid would be used to cover the money lost and keep up with these expenses.