State lawmakers oppose an increase in the MTA’s subway, bus and train fares, and are looking for other ways to close the agency’s funding gap.
Budget proposals released Tuesday by both the state Senate and Assembly call for the agency to forgo its planned 5.5% fee increase for 2023, as well as an expected future increase in 2025.
He state assembly plan He priced the planned 2023 fee increase at $197 million, saying the state government should find other sources for the money.
“For too long, Albany has allowed the MTA to be funded by regular fare increases for the working-class riders who depend on it the most,” said Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) and Assemblywoman Zohran Mamdani (D-Queens). Queens). in a joint statement.
“The MTA, like sanitation and fire fighting, is a public good. We are proud that these budget resolutions recognize it as such and we are committed to raising revenue from the wealthy to finance the livelihood of our city.”
Lawmakers also rejected Governor Hochul’s plan to cover the MTA’s $1.2 billion shortfall with an increase in the state payroll mobility tax and an additional contribution of approximately $500 million from New York City coffers.
Instead, lawmakers said, a variety of sources should be used to fund the MTA, including higher corporate taxes, surcharges on Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services, and new parking fees in New York City.
The Senate budget bill asks to increase the 30% corporate franchise tax surcharge earmarked for the MTA from 45%. The Assembly proposed a 2% increase in state income tax for “certain taxpayers with a business income base of more than $5 million.”
The Senate plan also proposed generating revenue by applying for residential parking permits in New York City, as well as adding an additional 50-cent surcharge to Uber and Lyft rides.
A Gianaris spokesperson told the Daily News that the parking permit plan would generate an estimated $400 million in revenue for the MTA, while the rideshare surcharge would generate more than $200 million.
The budget proposals are widely seen as counter offers to the governor’s budget and mark the start of closed-door negotiations before the April 1 state budget deadline.
Last month, MTA Chairman Janno Lieber expressed concern that Hochul’s plan to fill the agency’s shortfall could be challenged, calling it a doomsday scenario in which fares could skyrocket as that the service stumbled.
On Tuesday, however, the Lieber was more optimistic.
“We are grateful that the Legislature agrees with Governor Hochul that transit service in this region is essential and needs to be funded,” he said in a statement.
“The Governor led by presenting a balanced proposal to fund transit with dedicated, stable, and recurring revenue, putting riders first, and we look forward to working with her administration, Senate, and Assembly to achieve a final budget that achieves those goals.”
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Lisa Daglian, executive director of the MTA’s Citizens’ Standing Advisory Committee, hailed the proposals as a good start.
“The fact that sustainable and recurring funding for the MTA is featured so prominently is a clear indicator that our elected officials listened to us when we pleaded and cajoled them over the past year, and we appreciate the Senate, House and Governor for being so receptive.” he said he in a statement.
“Even as negotiations progress, the MTA funding starting point is a good place for consensus,” Daglian added.
With Denis Slattery