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    Before Joseph Lhota takes over as head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, he can expect to hear two phrases from the Lower Hudson Valley’s state senators: “payroll tax” and “forensic audit.”

    As Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nominee to run the nation’s largest transit agency, Lhota, executive vice president of administration for the Madison Square Garden Company, must be confirmed by the state Senate.

    Most senators representing Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties also called for a sharp look at spending, and said they would like to see more transparency in the agency. Most also opposed the payroll tax levied on employers throughout the 12-county MTA region, including the Lower Hudson Valley.

    “It’s critically important that (Lhota), coming out of the gate, fight to ensure that there’s a full and forensic accounting of the MTA books and take this beyond political finger-pointing,” said Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, who has been among the loudest voices calling for the end of the payroll tax.

    A forensic audit generally looks not just at policies, but also for evidence of criminal behavior. And that’s what Ball means. He said the review must “focus like a laser on corruption and mismanagement.” (READ MORE)


    Publication date: 
    Tuesday, November 1, 2011 - 00:00