ALBANY - Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo again took aim at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Tuesday in a standoff over how much each Democrat is willing to expend in the massive plan to renovate the transit system serving New York City and its suburbs.
But this time, the shot came with a twist.
Former Mayor "Mike Bloomberg invested in the MTA, and it was an investment that I think is going to go down in his legacy as one of the smartest moves he made as mayor," Cuomo said of the former Republican-turned-independent mayor. "I think the same thing should happen with this mayor."
Cuomo, on "The Brian Lehrer Show" on WNYC-FM, said New York City, which benefits most from the state Metropolitan Transportation Authority, must ante up billions "to pay it's fair share." De Blasio has noted the MTA is a state authority and the state is primarily responsible for its finances, yet the city pays for 75 percent of operating costs.
"I am putting my money where my mouth is, $8 billion," Cuomo said. "You know how you know when somebody wants to do it? They put their money where their mouth is."
But the city and its residents in fares and tolls have already paid their fair share in historic contributions more than the state, said de Blasio spokeswoman Amy Spitalnick. Meanwhile, the state has raided MTA funding of $270 million since 2011, when Cuomo was governor, she said.
"New Yorkers are tired of the bickering and politics," she said. "It's past time for the state to get real: Tell New Yorkers where your money is coming from; stop stealing money from the transit system; and ensure the people of NYC have a greater say how money is spent?"