TAPPAN ZEE FINANCING UNRESOLVED
Assemblyman Gary D. Finch (R,C,I-Springport) continues to find Gov. Cuomo’s unwillingness to disclose the details of his financing plan for the new Tappan Zee Bridge evasive and discouraging.
“The governor’s refusal to inform New Yorkers how he plans to pay for this massive construction project is an affront to taxpayers,” said Finch.
Finch expressed concern that the governor might be planning statewide toll hikes to pay for the downstate infrastructure investment.
“Requiring hardworking families from Central New York to bear the cost of building an expensive New York City bridge would be unacceptable,” said Finch. “Unfortunately, it is emblematic of the disregard downstate politicians display toward upstate interests. Tolls should not increase in our region,” he added.
This summer, Finch was an outspoken critic of the governor’s proposal to brazenly raid the Clean Water State Revolving Fund for a $255 million loan to help pay for the construction.
The federal government echoed Finch’s concerns. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rejected most of Cuomo’s loan proposal, which had ballooned to $511 million by September. The EPA ruled that the clean water funds were not allocated to offset construction costs.
The nation’s preeminent environmental governing body also noted that no other state had ever made a loan request of that “type or magnitude.”
“Following the EPA ruling, Gov. Cuomo was quick to assure New Yorkers that the clean water loan was ‘never part of the planning for the bridge financing in the first place.’ I suppose his staff is so enchanted with sprawling government bureaucracy that they fill out complicated loan applications just for fun,” said Finch.