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Those Taxing Tolls

by on June 5, 2012

You didn’t think the sales, property, and state income taxes on top of the myriad dinky fees New Yorkers pay for virtually every human activity were going toward keeping roads smooth, did you? We can’t get rid of those wagon ruts unless we charge yet a little more extra.

The Empire State is such an adherent of efficiency that it bills users directly. Of course, the state indirectly bills non-users, too, but that’s only out of a concurrent spirit of inclusion. Everyone gets screwed!

Commercial interests are facing a possible monstrous spike in how much they’re socked for their outrageous desire to move their items outside of a radius that can be covered on foot. There’s no need to worry if you don’t own a business that moves goods on the ground, as the increase won’t affect you unless you’re someone who buys things:

The state Thruway Authority took a step toward increasing tolls for certain commercial vehicles on the state superhighway, eyeing a 45% increase for vehicles with three or more axles.

The Thruway Authority board voted Wednesday to allow Executive Director Tom Madison to “proceed with necessary actions” to implement the toll hike, which includes an environmental review and at least three public hearings.

The fees someone else pays are not your problem. Sock it to those businesses, who by the way totally won’t pass along their increased costs to consumers. The state has to spruce up the roadways, an expense for which they’re somehow unprepared despite evidence that the necessity of maintenance is a recurring condition:

The toll adjustment, Madison said, is necessary to ensure the Thruway Authority can move forward with improvements to the highway’s aging infrastructure. The money from the increase would not directly be used to help finance a new Tappan Zee Bridge, an aging span between Westchester and Rockland counties that the state is looking to replace. The increase will be paired with a series of moves to “streamline” the Thruway Authority’s operations, Madison said.

The state will get more money our of the skyrocketing charge, assuming shippers will not reduce their workload or move shop to a state that’s nicer to businesses. Companies thinking of being disloyal to the glorious state would be advised to stay and do their part by forking over even more: that capital belongs in the capital. Albany needs to get its sizable chunk before Washington takes a huge part of the rest:

The Thruway is expected to cut its own operational costs by $200 million over the next two years, officials said. The toll revenue from the increase in tolls on the trucks would bring in about $50 million to $60 million a year, officials said. Board members approved the action after they were presented with a report from Navigant Capital Advisors, an outside consultant that had been hired to look at the authority’s financial footing.

The bloated entity that rules by oozing don’t have enough money despite its astounding intake. So, the consultant naturally wants the monster to be able to strike even more fear in the heart of entrepreneurs trying to make and keep a buck.

You can spend your week’s meal money by Tuesday if you know someone else will make a third party buy your next dinners. It’s not like the meal plan purchasers have neglected to pay their tabs.

The new tolls wouldn’t be outrageous if the state was charging users for the privilege of using the roads. But those costs should have been covered already by all the money sunk by residents into the 54,000-square-plus mile pothole that is this busted state.

New Yorkers already pay enough for this crap, including crappy roads. The lighter wallets pro drivers will have after passing through tollbooths bring to mind light checking balances that await them at home. For a broader comparison, the national gasoline tax is supposed to pay for highway maintenance, but citizens are soaked enough otherwise that the additional levy just feels like an extra ripoff.

Still, you have options despite grabby state rulers. You could leave, or maybe just remove some axles from each of your fleet’s vehicles. And you thought the goons of giant government didn’t leave you with any options.

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