Albany shortchanges the MTA again

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Governor Cuomo released his proposed 2011-2012 budget today, Feburary 1st, and a close look shows that he has followed in his predecessor’s footsteps, grabbing funds earmarked for the MTA.  William Henderson, Executive Director of PCAC has issued this statement:

We are greatly disappointed in the Governor’s Budget proposals related to the MTA and its agencies, as they extend and expand New York State’s unconscionable practice of diverting tax revenues intended for operating the region’s public transportation system to benefit the state’s general fund.  The proposal to expend $165 million in dedicated Metropolitan Mass Transportation Operating Assistance (MMTOA) funding to pay debt service on State-issued voter-authorized bonds, which should rightly be funded by the State’s general revenues, is unacceptable.  The proposed transfer of $35 million in MMTOA funds to New York State’s general fund is an unabashed raid on transit funding. While the effective size of these cuts would be reduced by a transfer of $100 million in capital funds to the MTA, these reductions remain substantial.

This funding cannot be cut without impacting service, and these proposals will surely harm the bus, subway, and commuter rail riders whom we represent.  Their effective value is greater than the savings from last year’s MTA service cuts, which were themselves made necessary by State budget cuts.  These proposals would transfer to the general fund revenues that have been set aside in good faith for the support of public transportation; they must be reconsidered.

How do you feel about this action by Governor Cuomo?  Leave your comments below.  Check out the full budget proposal here.

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