Unshackle Upstate Demands Forensic Audit of Thruway Authority
Upstate advocacy organization issues letter calling for delay of toll increases until completion of financial review.
ALBANY, NY – Unshackle Upstate, a pro-taxpayer advocacy organization, distributed a letter (http://unshackleupstate.com/assets/news/071712thruwayauthauditltr.pdf) to Howard Milstein, chairman of the New York State Thruway Authority Board of Directors, today requesting that any toll increases be delayed until a forensic audit of the public authority is completed.
By conducting a thorough audit of the Thruway Authority’s operations, Unshackle Upstate is seeking to identify operational savings that would either eliminate the need for the proposed 45 percent toll increase for vehicles with 3 or more axles, or reduce it dramatically.
“Given the tenuous state of New York’s economy, we believe that Chairman Milstein should engage in a thorough review of the Thruway Authority’s operations to determine whether this commercial vehicle toll increase is truly necessary,” said Brian Sampson, executive director of Unshackle Upstate. “Considering the detrimental economic impact that the Thruway’s proposal would have on businesses and consumers across the state, we need to put the brakes on any toll increase until this audit is completed.”
Sampson pointed to the forensic audit of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority conducted by New York State Comptroller DiNapoli’s office in 2010-2011 as an example of what the organization hopes to accomplish with the Thruway.
“The Comptroller’s audit focused primarily on abuses within the MTA’s payroll and managed to save the MTA more than $6.7 million. We’re optimistic that a top-to-bottom audit of the Thruway could identify even more significant operational efficiencies,” said Sampson.
Unshackle Upstate, along with nineteen other organizations that are opposed to the proposed toll increase, will testify against it at the upcoming public hearings on the issue in Buffalo, Syracuse and Newburgh. In addition to today’s letter to Chairman Milstein, Sampson encouraged the public to get involved.
“Not everyone drives a commercial vehicle, but we will all pay the price for this toll hike if we don’t stand up and demand that the Thruway review its own finances before taking money from the rest of us.”
To view the schedule of the upcoming public hearings on this issue or to share your comments with the Thruway Authority directly, Unshackle Upstate encourages you to visit the Thruway Authority’s website for additional information: http://www.thruway.ny.gov/news/adjustment/index.html.
To view Unshackle Upstate’s letter to New York State Thruway Chairman Milstein, click here: http://unshackleupstate.com/assets/news/071712thruwayauthauditltr.pdf
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Unshackle Upstate is a non-partisan, pro-taxpayer, pro-economic growth, education and advocacy coalition made up of business and trade organizations from all parts of Upstate New York. The coalition's website, www.unshackleupstate.com, allows citizens to join the Unshackle Army and send messages to elected officials in Albany. Connect with Unshackle Upstate on Twitter: www.twitter.com/unshacklenyand Facebook: www.facebook.com/unshackleupstate.