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Business group asks for audit of Thruway Authority

A business group is asking the New York State Thruway Authority to delay a proposed 45 percent increase in truck tolls and conduct an audit of the authority’s finances instead.

Unshackle Upstate is urging the Thruway authority to first commission an audit of its finances before going through with a proposal to increase tolls on commercial traffic. The group’s Brian Sampson says the authority’s own reports show examples where spending reductions could occur, such as higher salaries and more staff when compared with the state’s Department of Transportation, or DOT.

“They have more employees that receive over $100,000 in annual income,” said Sampson. “They employ more people even though DOT has more miles of road to cover.”   

Sampson says the audit could be done by either the state comptroller’s office, which conducted a similar audit of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority several years ago, or a private firm. The Thruway authority did not have an immediate comment.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.