BY ASHLEY MATOS
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority continued on Thursday to deny reports of a $65 million transportation cut hidden in Governor Cuomo’s budget plan.
Acting Chairman Fernando Ferrer denied press reports of the cut by repeatedly claiming that the agency was actually $30 million ahead.
During the MTA committee meeting, many concerned citizens, and members of the board spoke up against budget cuts.
One of the main fears was that the Payment Mobility Tax, which charges a tax on employers based on the money they spend on payroll each quarter, would not be reimbursed.
“I know that there are some would argue that we’re not really losing money because we did well in other sources of revenue this year,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. “To me it is very important that we keep the commitment, we the legislature and executive branch, keep the commitment that was made to make up the difference between the original amount and the lost money.”
Some of the concerns for the alleged cuts were that the lost funding would have a large impact on riders, with less money to improve service and cause a fare hike.
“As our system sees increasing breakdowns, the last thing we need is a reduction in funding,” said Kate Slevin, Vice President of State Programs at the Regional Plan Association.
“The arithmetic is really very simple,” said Ferrer. “Last year we got more money from the state, all sources, than we did the year before. This year we’re ahead by $30 million, all sources.”
“If there was a cut of that magnitude in real terms, I might be on that speaker’s list too,” aded Ferrer.