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November 16, 2007

DiNapoli Announces Audit of
Proposed Toll Hike by Thruway Authority

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced that his office is examining whether the proposed toll increase by the Thruway Authority is necessary or not. DiNapoli urged the Thruway Authority to delay its proposed toll hike until after the audit is complete.

“New Yorkers already pay some of the highest taxes and user fees in the country, and the cost of gasoline is expected to skyrocket even more,” DiNapoli said. “For thousands of New York families, particularly upstate, the Thruway is an economic lifeline. Before the Thruway Authority raises tolls and drives up costs for delivering everything from milk to lumber, my auditors are going to examine whether the toll hike is necessary. The Thruway Authority should hold off on the proposed increase until the audit is complete.”

In recent days, the State Comptroller’s Office has been contacted by elected officials, including U.S. Congressman Brian Higgins and State Senator Dale Volker, requesting an audit of the proposed toll increase. After examining these requests and investigating preliminary information, DiNapoli deemed that an audit was warranted.

DiNapoli said his office was expediting the audit and he is confident the Thruway Authority will cooperate to help his auditors finish the audit quickly. Thruway Authority officials are expected to vote on a package that recommends proceeding with a previously approved increase averaging 10 percent in January, followed by 5 percent increases in each of the following two years. A vote previously scheduled for Monday was postponed.

The Thruway’s last toll increase was May 15, 2005.

The audit is expected to begin immediately.



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