Assemblyman Dinowitz, Joined by Fellow State Lawmakers and Riders Alliance, Protests the Executive Budget Proposal to Cut MTA Budget by $65 Million.
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz attended a press conference hosted by the Riders Alliance to protest of the Executive Budget proposal to reduce the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) budget by $65 million.
This year, the Executive Budget Proposal outlined a plan to provide the MTA $244 Million for the Payroll Mobility Tax transfer. A reduction of $65 million dollars from the anticipated $309 million. Even with this reduction, the Governor’s office argues that overall the MTA budget is being increased. However this “increase” does not account for the funds the MTA would have made if not for the Governor’s 2011 cut to the Payroll Mobility Tax transfer that helps to fund the MTA.
In 2011, the Governor Cuomo and lawmakers scaled back the Payroll Mobility Tax transfer that but promised to replace the missing funds every year “dollar for dollar”. The tax contributed around $1.5 billion to the MTA but was reduced to $1.2 billion after the scale-back.
Every year since that time, the State has largely kept that promise, contributing approximately $309 million a year to offset the funds lost from the 2011 tax cuts.
This year the proposed $244 million falls far short of the funds the MTA would have had if the Payroll Mobility Tax had remained in place.
As the newly appointed Chairman of the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions, which oversees the MTA, Assemblyman Dinowitz believes this proposed cut to be untenable and has written a letter cosigned 45 other Assembly Members opposing the proposal.
“A promise is a promise. When we restructured the Payroll Mobility Tax in 2011, the Governor, the Legislature promised to make up the funds to the MTA. Each year we have kept that promise, budgeting $309 million annually on replacement funds. This year, however, the Executive Budget cuts that amount by 21%, which is $65 million dollars. That is unacceptable. The promise must be kept. The money must be restored and that is what I will fight to do as we negotiate a state budget,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz.
The MTA, which has been experiencing an overall decline in ridership as well as general service problems and delays needs this money badly. Now is not the time to make cuts to the organization relied upon by 9 million people.