Toll Relief for Farmers: Keep It in the Budget

“Since first elected, I have fought for a farm vehicle tax credit to bring relief to our farmers who must travel to markets on costly toll roads. Today’s announcement by Governor Cuomo is welcome relief to the farmers of the Hudson Valley,” said Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D – Columbia, Dutchess).

Governor Cuomo announced this morning that included in his executive budget will be a proposal to eliminate tolls for commercial agriculture traffic. Specifically, vehicles owned by farmers used to bring goods to market and utilizing EZ-Pass will have their tolls eliminated by a 100 percent credit. Assemblymember Barrett has long fought to provide toll relief for the farmers of the Hudson Valley who are required to travel to markets in NYC on toll roads, seriously impacting their bottom line. She authored a bill to provide a tax credit for authorized farm vehicles that pay tolls on the Thruway (A.2414) The bill passed the Assembly for three successive years and was passed by the Senate this past year.
“This proposal will make a real difference for our farmers whom we depend upon to feed our families every day,” said Barrett. “My bill came about because local farmers reached out to me needing help: One farmer told me tolls were costing him more than $10,000 a year. For more than three years we have worked to educate colleagues and the governor’s team about this issue, so today’s announcement is welcome news.”