FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katy Delgado (914) 960-6050
DUTCHESS DEMOCRATS SILENT ON RUGGIERO TOLL HIKES
Democrat Candidates Hiding from Dismal Record on Tax & Toll Hikes
Poughkeepsie, September 25… As reported in the Daily Freeman and Poughkeepsie Journal, the New York State Bridge Authority, until recently under Joe Ruggiero’s charge, intends to issue another round of toll hikes. What is even more troubling is that this isn’t the first time Ruggiero has raised tolls. As Bridge Authority Executive Director from 2010 to 2019, Ruggiero raised tolls on the five mid-Hudson Valley bridges by 50 percent. The toll increases were then only the second in the authority’s 80-year history. A new round of toll hikes was proposed by the Bridge Authority at its September 19 meeting.
“It is unacceptable that Dutchess Democrat candidates led by Joe Ruggiero are silent on this issue. Where is the outrage on behalf of the people they want to represent?” said Dutchess County Republican Chairman Mike McCormack.
Said McCormack: “It’s bad enough that their candidate at the top of the ticket has a history of raising taxes and raised tolls in 2012 by 50 percent. Now they want us to vote for them while they remain silent on this latest proposed toll hike.”
In 2012, Joe Ruggiero as Executive Director of the New York State Bridge Authority raised tolls for commuters in the Hudson Valley by 50 cents, a 50 percent increase. On a late Friday afternoon “news dump,” the Daily Freeman reported that the Bridge Authority Board tried to “sneak” through a toll hike which was quietly announced by Joe Ruggiero in 2016, as reported in the Times Herald-Record. From 2007 to 2009, Dutchess County Democrats controlled the Legislature and were run out of office in 2009 for raising property taxes by double digits and increasing spending.
“Dutchess Democrat candidates want us to forget that they raised taxes in 2007 when they were in control of the Legislature. They may have amnesia but Dutchess taxpayers are smarter than that,” said McCormack. “Dutchess Republicans for 10 years have controlled spending, cut taxes and presided over one of the most efficient county governments in generations. On Election Day, Dutchess voters won’t hide their disdain and will make their voices known by re-electing Republicans to the county legislative majority.”