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PCAC Testimony – February 23, 2017 – Cuomo Operating Budget Cut

Testimony of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA
At the MTA Board Meeting
On Governor Cuomo’s Proposed $65 million Reduction to the MTA Budget
from the NY State General Fund
Board Room, MTA Headquarters, New York, NY

February 23nd, 2017

Good morning, I am Ellyn Shannon the Associate Director of the PCAC. I’d like to speak to you about the $67 million proposed loss to the MTA Budget and why it matters. In 2009 the Payroll Mobility Tax (PMT) was approved by the State Legislature.

In 2011 the PMT was reduced with a promise that the MTA would be made whole. That promise has been kept every year through the inclusion of $309 million for the MTA in the State’s General Fund budget. The recent proposed Executive Budget reduces this amount by $67 million.

If the MTA’s budget is cut by $67 million, or $268 million over the full course of the 4-years we are worried that cuts could be made to the following items that were listed as investments to the MTA’s November Financial Plan. These items are critically needed investments that will result in improved service reliability.’

They include:
• $30 million for the overhaul of 288 subway cars
• $30 million for the assessment of the LIRR M7 fleet system and maintenance plans in order to safeguard the reliability of the fleet
• $27 million to upgrade to All-Weather Tires for the NYCT and MTA Bus fleets
• $10 million for System-Wide Right-of-Way Clean-Up Efforts on MNR
• $71 million for the improvement of the reliability and frequency of service on our buses routes

The MTA needs every one of these investments to turn around the declining performance. Any reduction in funding promised to the MTA will negatively impact the initiatives to improve service at a time when it needs to significantly improve. There is no question that the state should restore the $67 million to the budget and there is also no question that the city should create a mechanism by which the MTA can realize some of the increase in tax revenues that will occur from the MTA’s multibillion dollar projects like Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access.

Download here: 022317 PCAC Cuomo Operating Budget Cut