Bigger breaks for farm trucks wanted

Now Media Group


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.