JERSEY CITY - Tolls on Port Authority crossings between New York and New Jersey are going up again in two weeks, amid a continuing debate over how the agency spends those toll dollars.
The rates will be 75 cents higher for cars with EZPass and a dollar more if you are paying cash. The increase means millions of extra dollars in revenue for the Port Authority, and many continue to question whether that money will be used appropriately.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski, chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee, pressed Port Authority executives Wednesday with questions about some major financial issues. He says he and other state lawmakers left empty-handed.
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"The public has very little faith that this agency is operating in their interests, and the longer they refuse to open up their books, the longer they refuse to explain what they're doing, the more public mistrust there will be," Wisniewski says.
AAA is suing the Port Authority, claiming it’s using tolls to cover losses at the World Trade Center site. Bloomberg News reports developers in lower Manhattan are having trouble attracting tenants.
Robert Sinclair Jr., of AAA, says the agency must be using funding from the tolls on World Trade Center construction.
"With them swimming in debt, as much as $12 to 15 billion, according to the Government Accountablity Office report from a couple of months ago, and with tolls as the number one source of revenue, how can they not be using this money to pay for the World Trade Center?" Sinclair asks.
The Port Authority's spokesman has not responded to News 12's request for a comment on concerns over the toll increases.