Basile proposes doubling state funds for local road repairs

Republican Senate candidate Tom Basile has proposed doubling the amount of state aid for local road repairs by devoting a greater share of the revenue New York collects through gas taxes.

Basile, a Stony Point councilman running for the 39th District seat that Bill Larkin is vacating, suggesting raising annual spending to $1 billion from $440 million, arguing that state aid has not kept pace with the road repair costs that counties and municipalities incur.

“Half of the lane miles driven in this state are on local roads, yet local municipalities get only a small fraction of more than $4 billion in revenue from the gas tax that should be going to infrastructure projects,” Basile said. “In fact, only half of the gas tax revenue actually goes toward transportation capital projects at all. It’s nonsensical. Our counties, towns and villages need help to fix infrastructure now.”

Basile criticized his opponent, Assemblyman James Skoufis, D-Woodbury, for voting in committee in 2015 and 2016 to table two Republican bills that he said would have increased aid for local road repairs outside New York City and allowed more flexibility in how the money is spent.

“Mr. Skoufis has been in the Assembly for six years and despite his claims, has allowed New York City to gain at the expense of our local community roadways,” Basile said. “He’s voted against our interests and repeatedly failed to promote reforms that would help address these shortfalls.”

Jon Heppner, a Skoufis campaign spokesman, responded: “First, while Tom Basile drives up to Orange County from Rockland in his gas guzzling RV covered with his own face, he can thank James Skoufis for securing the funding to repave the Palisades Parkway, Route 6, and Route 9W that he travels on.

“Basile is so busy promoting his tea-party brand that he has no idea how government works. Both of the bills he attacks had no chance of becoming law because one would have allowed Albany politicians to hand out funding as they saw fit rather than following a fair formula, and the other was likely unconstitutional.”

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    Chris McKenna covers Orange County government and politics for the Times Herald-Record. He has been a reporter at the newspaper since 1999. Read Full

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