Trucking group sues New York over where toll money goes

| November 18, 2013

thruwayThe American Trucking Associations has sued the New York State Thruway Authority for diverting toll revenues to upkeep of the state’s canals. 

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The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is legally challenging New York’s mandate that out-of-state trucks pay registration fees to operate on state highways.

The complaint, filed Nov. 14, is seeking class-action relief for affected ATA members, four trucking companies in New York and any other truckers who are similarly situated. 

ATA also wants a permanent injunction against the practice, as it says it discriminates against trucking tolls that go to subsidize canal maintenance. 

ATA also wants damages or restitution in the amount determined by the U.S. District Court for New York’s Southern District.  

Truckers pay rates “not based on a fair approximation of commercial truckers’ use” and “are excessive in relation to the benefits conferred on commercial truckers for paying those tolls,” they stated. These actions violate the constitutional protection of the Commerce Clause and the Privileges and Immunities Clauses, which prohibit discrimination against interstate commercial activity and out-of-state residents, the ATA stated 

ATA says it wants tolls for trucks to be based on a fair approximation of use relative to the benefits that will be received. 

The Thruway Authority spent $1.1 billion in canal maintenance by 2012 — two decades after the state transferred administration of the canal system to the Thruway Authority.