MTA has $2 billion budget deficit: Report
The MTA this year has been operating with a more than $2 billion budget deficit that will inflate to $3.6 billion by 2016, according to a new report from the Citizens Budget Commission.
To fight the deficit, the CBC suggested the agency hikes fares 21% by 2016, and change its money-making strategy so that it would draw 25% of its total budget from drivers, 50% from straphangers and 25% from tax subsidies.
"Current financing policies will not provide the fiscal stability and capital investments that the MTA needs," CBC president Carol Kellermann said
The MTA, however, said earlier this year that it had a $47 million budget surplus for 2012, and projects a $231 million deficit by 2016.
The CBC, a financial watchdog, got bigger numbers because it factored in employee benefits payments, among other costs, whereas the MTA bases its accounting off the cash budget they use required by law.
"The MTA has made great strides in cutting costs and stabilizing its finances, and has regularly said we need a stable and reliable funding source for the sake of all our customers and the entire New York economy," said MTA chief Joe Lhota.
"However, the CBC's choice of budgeting methods would create the appearance of a phantom deficit, instead of reflecting our fully balanced budget as required by law."