Tell me your MTA grievances and complaints

| 23 Feb 2012 | 03:39

    This week, I had breakfast with Governor Andrew Cuomo and used the opportunity to discuss with him our impending state budget. While we already have made more progress on budget negotiations than in the last few years, with budget hearings scheduled, I do not see how we can pass an on-time, fiscally responsible state budget without addressing the problems with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). In addition to calling for the MTA Payroll Tax to be immediately rescinded and for a complete forensic audit by Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, I also have called on Governor Cuomo to hold a MTA-specific budget hearing. Although the MTA has traditionally been dealt with through the transportation components of the budget, the fact that this mismanaged authority is slated to receive $100 million more taxpayer dollars is something that I know my constituents, and the majority of employers in the MTA’s 12-county service region, will want to testify against and, therefore, I believe a separate budget hearing is necessary. While I await the governor’s response, I invite all constituents within the MTA’s 12-county service region, especially those from my district in Orange and Rockland counties, to consider attending the Budget Hearing on Transportation. The hearing will be held on Feb. 28 at 9:30 am in Hearing Room B of the Legislative Office Building (enter through the New York State Plaza Concourse or State Capitol) in Albany. Since the hearing is not open for members of the public to testify, I will be attending and asking questions on the public’s behalf. That’s why I believe having a separate MTA-specific budget hearing, where employers, commuters and residents could come to testify is necessary and appropriate. This also is why I need to hear from you. If you are an employer, please contact me to discuss the impact the MTA Payroll Tax is having on your business. If you are a commuter, please share with me your stories about service cuts and fare hikes. If you are a resident, what impact is the lack of service or cost of service having on you? How do all of you feel about letting more of your tax dollars be given to the MTA? It is vital that you share your views with me so I can ensure they are represented. I will continue working with the governor to encourage him to hold a MTA-specific budget hearing and continue working with all of our elected officials to bring an end to the MTA Payroll Tax and to conduct an immediate, independent forensic audit of this authority. Please share your views with me online at Facebook or Twitter, by e-mailing me at, or by contacting either of my offices. Assemblywomen Annie Rabbit Greenwood Lake