In light of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) calling for service cuts, Senator Carl L. Marcellino today called for the creation of an MTA Interim Finance Authority
“The powers that be at the MTA can no longer be trusted to govern the authority. It is time to get experts in control of the finances at the MTA. We need smart people with fresh ideas to fix this seemingly, endless problem,” said Senator Marcellino
The MTA claims to have a $300 million deficit and are scaling back services in an effort to balance their budget, despite the recent implementation of a $2.2 billion MTA bailout that included the $1.5 billion MTA payroll tax, which Senator Marcellino voted against.
The MTA Interim Finance Authority would be governed by a seven member, non-partisan, Board appointed with two members by the Governor, with one member by the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, one by the Assembly Speaker and Minority Leader and one by the State Comptroller. This Authority would have the ability to monitor, oversee and control the MTA’s finances during a set period of time.
“Long Islanders simply cannot go on footing the bill for this bloated and disreputable public authority. No matter what actions are taken, the MTA continues to dig a deeper hole. A hole they ask the taxpayer to fill. Well, the taxpayers simply cannot afford another penny. They deserve answers. They need to know why the MTA can never seem to get it right,” Senator Marcellino.
Since 2007, the State Comptroller has released six reports on MTA finances and policy, as well as 10 audits, uncovering years of waste and inefficiencies each time totaling in the billions of dollars. Just this September the Comptroller found that the MTA awarded thousands of contracts worth approximately $2.9 billion for outsourced services. The auditors found that the MTA could not show that the awarded contracts were always the most cost-effective option.
“It seems everyone knows and acknowledges the problem, but no one wants to take the MTA on.
They need more oversight and they need it now. The MTA can no longer be trusted to control its own financial future. It is time to give someone else a chance to make the MTA work for the taxpayer and the rider,” said Senator Marcellino
“We cannot wait for the next service cut, the next fare hike or the next payroll tax to come along. We need the Warren Buffets of the world running the MTA, not the gang that can’t shoot straight,” concluded Senator Marcellino.