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Farm Bureau Wants Broader Farm Trucks Thruway Toll Break

The New York Farm Bureau says Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan to give farm trucks a break on Thruway tolls that could save farmers $5 million annually for three years is a "drop in the bucket."

Spokesman Steve Ammerman says the more pressing concern is the plan to gradually increase the hourly minimum wage to $15. He says that could cost farmers $500 million a year.

The toll credit would apply to vehicles weighing up to 26,000 lbs. that are owned by someone who's primarily a farmer. Ammerman says that qualifies small farm trucks for the credit, but the Farm Bureau wants the limit increased to 92,000 lbs.

The state Comptroller's office reported that as of 2012 New York had more than 35,500 farms making over $5.4 billion in commodity sales.

© 2016 The Associated Press.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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