Last-Second Save
May 5th, 2009

The legislature’s long struggle to come up with a plan to save the Metropolitan Transit Authority will likely come to an end tomorrow morning. All three Democratic leaders emerged from behind closed doors this evening to announce they had reached an agreement that will raise $2.26 billion dollars a year for the MTA. Gov. David Paterson will issue a message of necessity to allow both houses to vote on the plan before the bill has aged the required 3 days.

A working copy of the bill does not yet exist but here is what we know about it:

The plan will raise $1.5 billion a year from a payroll tax of 34 cents of every$100 dollars of payroll that will target all employers in the 12 counties that serve the MTA. The state will reimburse school districts for the payroll tax they contribute.

  • $500 million will be raised from a 10 percent increase. Politicians had hoped to limit any fare increase to 8 percent.
  • 85 million will be raised from a fifty-cent surcharge on taxi rides. The fee was reduced from the originally proposed $1.
  • $130 million will be raised from a $25 fee on vehicle registrations in the 12-county MTA region.
  • $35 million will be raised from an increase of the fee on car rentals.
  • $10.5 million will come from an increase on the fee on driver’s licenses.

Funding for upstate roads and bridges was not made part of the deal. Paterson pledged to formulate a statewide road and bridge plan later this year. The plan is a far cry from the originally proposed Ravitch Plan. In the end, the plan largely resembles the plan put forward by Malcolm Smith last month. However, Paterson can claim victory because his proposal to reimburse school districts for what they contribute in payroll tax won over the last two holdout Democratic Senators.

By on May 5, 2009, 9:27 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany,Transportation | 1 Comment »

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One Response to “Last-Second Save”

  1. Jim Kelly Says:
    May 6th, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    It’s about time!

    Paterson deserves major credit for getting this done so swiftly. If the Gov. doesn’t force Albany to make a decision, the doomsday budget gets passed and the MTA completely dissolves in my opinion.

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