The city will fight to reverse a $65 million cut toward funding of the MTA in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed state budget.
Polly Trottenberg, the city’s Department of Transportation commissioner and an MTA board member, said on Tuesday that the de Blasio administration would look to restore the funding.
Speaking at an MTA Finance Committee meeting, she argued that a reversal was needed because of uncertainties over the federal government’s commitment to transit as well as the fact that the MTA just approved yet another fare and toll hike set to take effect next month.
“We will be working with our allies up in Albany to see if we can reverse these cuts, which we really have a great concern about,” Trottenberg said. “I also think it particularly worries me in light of the federal fiscal climate we find ourselves in, in which there are all kinds to potential threats to city [and] state budgets right now — and in a bunch of ways we don’t even know yet.”
As the city looks toward Albany, the governor’s office argues that the cut really isn’t a cut at all. Cuomo’s proposed executive budget for fiscal year 2018, unveiled last month, included a $65 million cut from the state’s general fund toward the MTA — from $309 million in 2017 to $244 million in 2018.
But the MTA’s revenues from dedicated taxes increased by more than $65 million this year. So, all told, the agency will receive an increase of $30 million in funding for the next fiscal year.