As the snow blankets New York, the subway system is holding up for now. As we know, the same cannot be said of the MTA’s finances, and as Gov. Paterson’s new payroll tax plan percolates through the political bodies of the area, New York City reps are up in arms. Today’s anti-Paterson rant comes to us from City Council Speaker Chrstine Quinn. Calling the new plan “outrageous” and “twisted,” Quinn slammed business for not complying and the governor for foisting more taxes on the backs of New York City business.
“Why do we have to pay for absolutely everything in the state of New York? It’s outrageous! It’s outrageous! I mean, we’re not a piggy bank! I mean, we’re not an ATM machine for the state. We’re willing to pay our fair share, and we do in greater amounts than our numerical, you know, whatever. But this is just above and beyond,” she said. “And it’s really – while we’re at the same moment talking about eliminating MetroCards, cutting back on disabled Access-A-Rides, cutting back on bus lines and subway lines – at the same time, we’re going to tell New York City workers who are getting less they’re going to pay more. And they’re going to pay more than other counties. It’s just twisted.”
Meanwhile, as Mt. Quinn erupted, the Empire State Transportation Alliance went north to Albany to lobby for better transit funding. Alliance members asked the state to restore $143 million in appropriations cuts to the MTA, to approve the next five-year capital plan and to fully fund the student MetroCard program. These funds, they say, can be found via “congestion management tacits” including tolls or congestion fees. “We are not asking the state for a bailout or handout,” Veronica Vanterpool, associate director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said. “We are asking state legislators to restore transit funds that were taken and to keep last year’s promise for a financially solvent and sustainable funding plan.” Sounds good to me.