No free lunches


To the editor:

Now that the second span will soon open, motorist and taxpayers have more reason to be concerned regarding how Gov. Andrew Cuomo will find several billion to pay for construction of the new Mario Cuomo Tappan Zee Bridge.

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, or in this case, construction of a bridge. At the end of the day, starting in 2020, someone has to pay.

The Citizens Budget Commission previously reported that tolls on the new bridge will likely increase from $5 to $10.50 after 2020.

Gov. Cuomo made a cold political calculation by promising not to raise the tolls when running for another term in 2018 or president in 2020 (the world’s worst kept secret). To pay back the $1.6 billion federal loan and $1 billion New York Thruway Authority Bond, which helped finance the new $3.9 billion Tappan Zee, tolls will have to go up by double or more over several years.

The well-respected Moody’s Investment Services previously estimated tolls will go up to $7.60 by 2021 and $15 by 2026 for the Thruway Authority to be able to pay back the loan, bond and more in contractor final payment claims.

It is a safe bet Cuomo will exit Albany leaving taxpayers and commuters to pay higher fares, taxes and tolls in coming years to cover his $4 billion tab.

Larry Penner

Larry Penner,