senate Bill S1988A

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to the election by certain counties to withdraw from the metropolitan commuter transportation district; and permits the county of Putnam to make such election

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 22, 2014 print number 1988a
amend and recommit to transportation
Jan 08, 2014 referred to transportation
Jan 09, 2013 referred to transportation

Bill Amendments

Original
A (Active)
Original
A (Active)

S1988 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A1197A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Public Authorities Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §1279-b, Pub Auth L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S5278, A2978
2009-2010: A9166A

S1988 - Bill Texts

view summary

Relates to the election by certain counties to withdraw from the metropolitan commuter transportation district; and permits the county of Putnam to make such election.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S1988

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public authorities law, in relation
to the election by certain counties to withdraw from the metropolitan
commuter transportation district; and in relation to permitting the
county of Putnam to make such election

PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to provide Dutchess, Orange,
Putnam and Rockland counties the option to withdraw from the metropol-
itan commuter transportation district.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The bill amends section 1279-b of the public
authorities law to include Putnam County among the counties that have
the option to withdraw from the metropolitan commuter transportation
district.

The county seeking to withdraw shall provide the commissioner of trans-
portation, and chairman of the authority and the other counties which
have an option to withdraw, a resolution adopted by the county legisla-
ture providing notice of intent to withdraw and furnish a public trans-
portation plan.

The "public transportation plan" shall include an agreement where the
county shall be entitled to lease facilities and services comprising
such rail transportation system at fair market value which provides for
negotiations for withdrawal from the metropolitan commuter transporta-
tion district.

If no agreement is reached after sixty days from the commencement of
such negotiations, either party may make application to a justice of the
supreme court residing in the counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and
Rockland for an appointment of a special referee.

The special referee shall mediate negotiations for withdrawal for a
period of no longer than sixty days. If after the sixty day period the
parties are unable to reach an agreement, the special referee shall,
within thirty days, recommend the terms of the withdrawal to the
justice, who shall review the recommendations of the referee and the
positions of the parties thereon and shall issue an order setting forth
the terms of the withdrawal.

The authority shall make payment to the county that withdraws for the
difference in the amount of services received from the authority and
monies paid by the county to the authority, this payment shall be
extrapolated over the previous five years from the date of withdrawal.

JUSTIFICATION: At a time when local taxpayers are at the breaking point
of trying to pay their ever increasing property taxes, the Metropolitan
Transportation Authority (MTA) bill was chaptered into law on May 7,
2009, and imposed a plan that would raise taxes, fees and fares to bail-
out the MTA. The majority of the revenues ($1.5 billion) generated from

this plan would come from a payroll tax among the counties served by the
MTA.

Under the payroll tax, public, private and not-for-profit employers in
the MTA region must contribute $0.34 on every $100 of payroll. Dutch-
ess, Orange, Putnam and Rockland Counties will be forced to contribute
over $60 million in a payroll tax and over $30 million in increase fees
on licenses, permits and registrations.

According to figures provided by the MTA, county taxpayers in Dutchess,
Orange, Rockland and Putnam already collectively contribute tens of
millions of dollars to support the MTA for a service that is used regu-
larly by a relatively small number of individuals.

To add insult to injury, each of these four counties is only permitted
one-quarter vote which amounts to only one vote for Dutchess, Orange,
Putnam and Rockland counties.

Under this bill, the counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Rockland
would have the option to withdraw from the Metropolitan Commuter Trans-
portation District by an agreed transportation plan, approved by the
commissioner of transportation, or by negotiating in good faith any
agreement after the public transportation plan prepared by any such
county is approved by the commissioner of transportation.

Given the tremendous fiscal burden placed on these four counties to
support a transit system that is not used by the vast majority of their
residents, it is imperative that these counties have a mechanism to be
released from the transportation district-which has long held them
fiscal hostage.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-2012 - S.5278 - Referred to Transportation

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: This bill would result in a cost savings to be
determined after such county or counties reach an agreed upon public
transportation plan.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1988

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation

AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation to the  election
  by  certain counties to withdraw from the metropolitan commuter trans-
  portation district; and in relation to permitting the county of Putnam
  to make such election

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Section 1279-b of the public authorities law, as added by
chapter 669 of the laws of 1986, the opening paragraph of subdivision 1,
the opening paragraph of paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 and subdivisions
3 and 5 as amended by chapter 670 of the laws of  1986,  is  amended  to
read as follows:
  S  1279-b.  Transition--election  to  withdraw  from  the metropolitan
commuter transportation district. 1. The counties of  Dutchess,  Orange,
PUTNAM  and Rockland shall have an option to withdraw from the metropol-
itan commuter transportation district  and  have  such  withdrawal  take
effect  on  either: (a) [January] APRIL first, [nineteen hundred eighty-
seven] TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN. If any such county plans to  withdraw  from
the  district  on [January] APRIL first, [nineteen hundred eighty-seven]
TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, it shall (i) no later than seventy-five days after
the effective date of this section, furnish the commissioner  of  trans-
portation,  and  chairman  of the authority and the other counties which
have an option to withdraw, a resolution adopted by the county  legisla-
ture providing notice of intent to withdraw, (ii) on or before [October]
JANUARY  first,  [nineteen  hundred  eighty-six]  TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN,
furnish to the commissioner  of  transportation,  the  chairman  of  the
authority  and other counties which have an option to withdraw, a resol-
ution adopted by the county legislature providing for a public transpor-
tation plan. For the purposes of this section, a "public  transportation

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00391-01-3

S. 1988                             2

plan"  shall  mean  a plan that maintains adequate and continuous public
transportation services from the withdrawing county to the city  of  New
York  or  any terminus previously served, provides a reasonable level of
rail  passenger  service,  provides  a  schedule  for  implementing such
service, protects the  public  investment  in  the  rail  transportation
system  and  any  other criteria deemed necessary by the commissioner of
transportation. SUCH PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION PLAN SHALL INCLUDE,  BUT  NOT
BE  LIMITED  TO,  AN AGREEMENT BY WHICH SUCH COUNTY SHALL BE ENTITLED TO
LEASE THE FACILITIES AND SERVICES COMPRISING  SUCH  RAIL  TRANSPORTATION
SYSTEM  AT  FAIR  MARKET VALUE AND UNDER SUCH TERMS AND CONDITIONS TO BE
DETERMINED AS SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION SIX OF  THIS  SECTION.  Prior  to
withdrawal  pursuant to this paragraph or paragraph (b) of this subdivi-
sion, a county must receive approval of its public  transportation  plan
pursuant to paragraph (c) of this subdivision, (iii) on or before Decem-
ber  fifteenth,  [nineteen  hundred  eighty-six]  TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN,
furnish the commissioner of transportation, a copy of an agreement  with
the authority or an operator of rail passenger service for the provision
of  rail  passenger  service to and from such county and the city of New
York or any terminus previously served. IF SUCH AGREEMENT HAS  NOT  BEEN
CONCLUDED  BY  THE  RESPECTIVE  PARTIES,  AND  A PARTY HAS EXERCISED ITS
RIGHTS PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION SIX OF THIS SECTION, THE APPROVAL OF  THE
COMMISSIONER  OF  TRANSPORTATION SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED AND THE AGREEMENT
OR ORDER SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION SIX OF THIS SECTION,  SHALL  DETERMINE
THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SUCH WITHDRAWAL.
  If  a  county planning to withdraw on [January] APRIL first, [nineteen
hundred eighty-seven] TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN is unable to withdraw because
it could not meet the requirements of this paragraph, it  may  elect  to
withdraw pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subdivision hereafter.
  (b)  January  first,  [nineteen  hundred  eighty-eight]  TWO  THOUSAND
SIXTEEN or January first, [nineteen hundred  eighty-nine]  TWO  THOUSAND
SEVENTEEN.    If  any  such  county  plans to withdraw on either January
first, [nineteen hundred eighty-eight] TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN  or  January
first,  [nineteen  hundred eighty-nine] TWO THOUSAND SEVENTEEN, it shall
(i) no later than ninety days after the first of  January  of  the  year
immediately  preceding  the  year in which such county plans to withdraw
from the district,  furnish  the  commissioner  of  transportation,  the
chairman of the authority and the other counties which have an option to
withdraw,  a  resolution  adopted  by  the  county legislature providing
notice of intent to withdraw from the district, (ii) no later  than  one
hundred  twenty  days after the first of January of the year immediately
preceding the year in which such  county  plans  to  withdraw  from  the
district  furnish to the commissioner of transportation, the chairman of
the authority and the counties which have an option to withdraw a resol-
ution adopted by the county legislature providing a  public  transporta-
tion plan as described in this section, (iii) on or before October first
of the year immediately preceding the year in which such county plans to
withdraw  from  the  district,  furnish to the commissioner a copy of an
agreement with the authority or an operator of  rail  passenger  service
for  the provision of rail passenger service to and from such county and
the city of New York or any terminus previously served.  IF SUCH  AGREE-
MENT  HAS  NOT BEEN CONCLUDED BY THE RESPECTIVE PARTIES, AND A PARTY HAS
EXERCISED ITS RIGHTS PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION SIX OF  THIS  SECTION,  THE
APPROVAL OF THE COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED AND
THE AGREEMENT OR ORDER SET FORTH IN SUCH SUBDIVISION SIX SHALL DETERMINE
THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SUCH WITHDRAWAL.

S. 1988                             3

  (c)  No later than thirty days after receipt of the public transporta-
tion plan the commissioner of transportation shall, in  writing,  either
approve  such  plan  as  conforming  with  the  requirements  heretofore
described or disapprove such plan as failing to meet  such  requirements
and  the  reasons  therefor.  Disapproval of a plan shall not prohibit a
county from resubmitting a public transportation plan and such resubmit-
ted plan shall be approved or disapproved no  later  than  fifteen  days
after  receipt  by the commissioner of transportation. The public trans-
portation plan shall be subject to any state or federal  public  hearing
requirements  which  the  authority would be subject to if the authority
made the changes proposed by such plan.
  (d) Any such county which plans to withdraw  from  the  district  must
meet  the  requirements  of  this section prior to the effective date of
withdrawal, and no withdrawal for the purposes  of  this  section  shall
take  effect  unless such county furnishes the resolutions and agreement
prior to the effective date of withdrawal.
  2. The authority and any subsidiary corporation of the authority shall
enter into an agreement or agreements with a county that plans to  with-
draw from the district to transfer and assign to such county all author-
ity  and subsidiary railroad facilities and operations, rights and obli-
gations,  and  contract  rights  and  obligations,  including  operating
contract  rights  and obligations, which are owned, operated, maintained
or used directly or by contract or which are otherwise involved  in  the
provision  of  railroad  services to such counties. Such agreement shall
provide, in the event a facility,  operation,  right  or  obligation  is
necessary and material to the provision of rail passenger service in the
district  or  is  not  assignable  under  applicable  bond  covenants or
contracts or the parties agree that it should not be assigned, that  the
authority  or subsidiary thereof shall continue to hold and be responsi-
ble for such facility, operation, right  or  obligation  and  that  such
county  shall reimburse to the authority that portion of the cost to the
authority or subsidiary of its retention of  such  facility,  operation,
right  or  obligation  that is allocable [to] WITHIN such county. If the
parties agree that the authority or subsidiary thereof shall operate the
railroad facilities in a county after the effective date of  such  coun-
ty's  withdrawal,  the  agreement  also  shall provide for the terms and
conditions of the operation of such service.
  3. Within forty-five days of the effective date of this  section,  the
authority  and any subsidiary corporation of the authority shall provide
to the counties of Dutchess,  Orange,  PUTNAM  and  Rockland  a  written
statement,  including cost estimates and the useful life, if any, of all
of its facilities, operations, rights and obligations  relating  to  the
provision of rail service in such counties.
  4.  The  authority  and any subsidiary corporation of the authority is
authorized to enter into an agreement or agreements with a  county  that
plans  to withdraw from the district, pursuant to which the authority or
subsidiary thereof will provide  technical  assistance  to  such  county
prior  to, during and after the withdrawal, with respect to the transfer
of ownership, operation, maintenance  and  use  of  railroad  facilities
within such county. Such agreement may provide that the county reimburse
the  authority  or  its subsidiary for the cost to the authority and its
subsidiary for the provision of such technical assistance.
  5. The authority shall have no obligation to undertake or continue any
project or part thereof in a current  or  future  capital  program  plan
which  pertains  to  railroad  facilities within or services to a county
that withdraws from the district on or after such date of withdrawal nor

S. 1988                             4

shall the authority enter into any contract for a project or part there-
of which would increase liabilities pursuant to subdivision [six]  SIX-A
of  this section in a county after such county notifies the authority of
its  intent  to withdraw as provided in subdivision one of this section,
provided, however, that if the authority has executed a contract for the
effectuation of a project or part thereof in a capital program  plan  in
such  county,  it  shall  be  assigned to such county in accordance with
subdivision two of this section, unless the parties agree that it  shall
not  be assigned and that the authority or its subsidiary shall continue
to be responsible therefor, in which event the  county  shall  reimburse
the  authority  or  its  subsidiary in accordance with the provisions of
subdivision two of this section.
  6. SHOULD THE COUNTIES OF DUTCHESS, ORANGE, PUTNAM OR ROCKLAND SEEK TO
WITHDRAW FROM THE DISTRICT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, ANY SUCH COUNTY AND
THE AUTHORITY, AND/OR, IF APPROPRIATE ANY SUBSIDIARY CORPORATION OF  THE
AUTHORITY  SHALL  NEGOTIATE IN GOOD FAITH ANY AGREEMENT REQUIRED BY THIS
SECTION FOR  WITHDRAWAL  FROM  THE  DISTRICT.  SUCH  NEGOTIATIONS  SHALL
COMMENCE  NOT  LATER  THAN  FIFTEEN DAYS AFTER THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
PLAN PREPARED BY ANY SUCH COUNTY HAS BEEN SUBMITTED BY  SUCH  COUNTY  TO
THE  AUTHORITY,  AND/OR,  IF  APPROPRIATE, A SUBSIDIARY AUTHORITY. IN NO
EVENT SHALL A COUNTY BE REQUIRED TO NEGOTIATE WITH  BOTH  THE  AUTHORITY
AND  A  SUBSIDIARY  AUTHORITY.  THE  NEGOTIATIONS  CONDUCTED  BY AND THE
ACTIONS OF THE AUTHORITY OR SUBSIDIARY AUTHORITY SHALL BE BINDING.    IF
AFTER  SIXTY  DAYS  FROM THE COMMENCEMENT OF SUCH NEGOTIATIONS OR AT ANY
TIME THEREAFTER THE AUTHORITY  OR  ANY  SUBSIDIARY  CORPORATION  OF  THE
AUTHORITY AND A COUNTY ARE UNABLE TO REACH AN AGREEMENT REQUIRED BY THIS
SECTION  FOR  SUCH  WITHDRAWAL,  EITHER  PARTY MAY MAKE APPLICATION TO A
JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT PRESIDING  IN  THE  COUNTIES  OF  DUTCHESS,
ORANGE,  PUTNAM  OR  ROCKLAND FOR APPOINTMENT OF A SPECIAL REFEREE. EACH
PARTY SHALL SUBMIT TO THE JUSTICE A LIST CONTAINING THE NAMES AND QUALI-
FICATIONS OF FIVE PERSONS TO SERVE AS SPECIAL REFEREE. THE JUSTICE SHALL
SELECT ONE PERSON FROM AMONG THE NAMES SUBMITTED BY THE PARTIES TO SERVE
AS SPECIAL REFEREE. THE SPECIAL REFEREE SHALL MEDIATE  THE  NEGOTIATIONS
FOR WITHDRAWAL FOR A PERIOD OF NO LONGER THAN SIXTY DAYS. IF, AT THE END
OF  SAID  SIXTY DAY PERIOD, THE PARTIES ARE NOT ABLE TO REACH AGREEMENT,
THE SPECIAL REFEREE SHALL, WITHIN THIRTY DAYS THEREAFTER, RECOMMEND  THE
TERMS  OF  THE  WITHDRAWAL  TO THE JUSTICE. THE JUSTICE SHALL REVIEW THE
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE REFEREE AND THE POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES  THEREON
AND  SHALL  ISSUE  AN  ORDER  SETTING FORTH THE TERMS OF THE WITHDRAWAL.
NOTWITHSTANDING THE ENTRY OF SUCH ORDER, A  COUNTY  SHALL  HAVE  FIFTEEN
DAYS FROM THE ENTRY OF SUCH ORDER TO TERMINATE SUCH PROCEEDING. UPON THE
TIMELY  EXERCISE  OF  SUCH  RIGHT TO TERMINATE, SUCH PROCEEDING SHALL BE
DEEMED NULL AND VOID AND OF NO FURTHER EFFECT. IF A COUNTY HAS NOT EXER-
CISED ITS RIGHT TO TERMINATE, SAID ORDER SHALL BE SUBJECT  TO  APPELLATE
REVIEW  IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES, PROVIDED
THAT ANY APPEAL FROM THE ORDER SHALL BE GRANTED EXPEDITED STATUS.
  6-A. Any county which withdraws from the district shall  reimburse  to
the authority or its subsidiary, within the time period agreed to by the
parties, any capital expenditures heretofore undertaken by the authority
or  its subsidiary for railroad facilities only within such county which
were financed by commuter railroad revenue bonds issued by the metropol-
itan transportation authority pursuant to section twelve hundred  sixty-
nine  of this [article] TITLE and are assigned to such county in accord-
ance with the provisions of subdivision two of this section.
  [7.] 6-B. The obligations of a county that withdraws from the district
to reimburse the authority and any subsidiary corporation of the author-

S. 1988                             5

ity for the  costs  of  operation,  maintenance  and  use  of  passenger
stations pursuant to section twelve hundred seventy-seven of this [arti-
cle]  TITLE, shall continue for any such costs incurred up to the effec-
tive  date  of  the  county's withdrawal from the district and for costs
incurred thereafter that result from acts preceding such withdrawal, and
the applicability of the  payment  provisions  and  procedures  of  such
section twelve hundred seventy-seven to such county shall continue ther-
eafter with respect to the aforesaid costs.
  [8.]  7.  In  the  event  of a county's failure to make payment of any
monies determined by the authority to be owed and due it or any  subsid-
iary corporation of the authority pursuant to the terms of any agreement
entered  into  pursuant  to this section, the authority is authorized to
recover such payments in the same manner as in  section  twelve  hundred
seventy-seven  of  this  [article] TITLE and the state comptroller shall
withhold and pay monies to the authority in accordance with  the  proce-
dures set forth in that section.
  8.  THE  AUTHORITY SHALL MAKE PAYMENT TO THE COUNTY THAT WITHDRAWS FOR
THE DIFFERENCE IN THE AMOUNT OF SERVICES RECEIVED FROM THE AUTHORITY AND
MONIES PAID BY THE COUNTY  TO  THE  AUTHORITY,  THIS  PAYMENT  SHALL  BE
EXTRAPOLATED  OVER  THE PREVIOUS FIVE YEARS FROM THE DATE OF WITHDRAWAL.
IF THE AUTHORITY FAILS TO MAKE SUCH PAYMENT TO THE  COUNTY,  THE  AMOUNT
OWED  SHALL  BE WITHHELD BY THE STATE COMPTROLLER FROM THE AUTHORITY AND
THE MONIES SHALL BE PAID TO THE COUNTY.
  9.  The term of office of any resident of a county that withdraws from
the district under this section, as a member of the board of the author-
ity, the Metro-North rail commuter council or  the  management  advisory
board,  which  is  based  upon residence in such county, shall terminate
upon the county's withdrawal and the office shall be deemed  vacant  and
filled in the manner provided by law.
  10.    The provisions of this section and all agreements undertaken in
accordance herewith shall be subject to the rights of the holders of any
outstanding bonds or notes issued by the authority.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

S1988A (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A1197A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Public Authorities Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §1279-b, Pub Auth L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S5278, A2978
2009-2010: A9166A

S1988A (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view summary

Relates to the election by certain counties to withdraw from the metropolitan commuter transportation district; and permits the county of Putnam to make such election.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S1988A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public authorities law, in
relation to the election by certain counties to withdraw from the
metropolitan commuter transportation district; and in relation to
permitting the county of Putnam to make such election

PURPOSE:

To provide Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Rockland counties the option
to withdraw from the metropolitan commuter transportation district.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

The bill amends section 1279-b of the public authorities law to
include Putnam County among the counties that have the option to
withdraw from the metropolitan commuter transportation district. The
county seeking to withdraw shall provide the commissioner of
transportation, and chairman of the authority and the other counties
which have an option to withdraw, a resolution adopted by the county
legislature providing notice of intent to withdraw and furnish a
public transportation plan.

The "public transportation plan" shall include an agreement where the
county shall be entitled to lease facilities and services comprising
such rail transportation system at fair market value which provides
for negotiations for withdrawal from the metropolitan commuter
transportation district.

If no agreement is reached after sixty days from the commencement of
such negotiations, either party may make application to a justice of
the supreme court residing in the counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam
and Rockland for an appointment of a special referee.

The special referee shall mediate negotiations for withdrawal for a
period of no longer than sixty days. If after the sixty day period the
parties are unable to reach an agreement, the special referee shall,
within thirty days, recommend the terms of the withdrawal to the
justice, who shall review the recommendations of the referee and the
positions of the parties thereon and shall issue an order setting
forth the terms of the withdrawal.

The authority shall make payment to the county that withdraws for the
difference in the amount of services received from the authority and
monies paid by the county to the authority, this payment shall be
extrapolated over the previous five years from the date of withdrawal.

JUSTIFICATION:

At a time when local taxpayers are at the breaking point of trying to
pay their ever increasing property taxes, the Metropolitan
Transportation Authority (MTA) bill was chaptered into law on May 7,
2009, and imposed a plan that would raise taxes, fees and fares to
bailout the MTA. The majority of the revenues ($1.5 billion) generated
from this plan would come from a payroll tax among the counties served
by the MTA.


Under the payroll tax, public, private and not-for-profit employers in
the MTA region must contribute $0.34 on every $100 of payroll.
Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Rockland Counties will be forced to
contribute over $60 million in a payroll tax and over $30 million in
increase fees on licenses, permits and registrations.

According to figures provided by the MTA, county taxpayers in
Dutchess, Orange, Rockland and Putnam already collectively contribute
tens of millions of dollars to support the MTA for a service that is
used regularly by a relatively small number of individuals.

To add insult to injury, each of these four counties is only permitted
one-quarter vote which amounts to only one vote for Dutchess, Orange,
Putnam and Rockland counties.

Under this bill, the counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Rockland
would have the option to withdraw from the Metropolitan Commuter
Transportation District by an agreed transportation plan, approved by
the commissioner of transportation, or by negotiating in good faith
any agreement after the public transportation plan prepared by any
such county is approved by the commissioner of transportation.

Given the tremendous fiscal burden placed on these four counties to
support a transit system that is not used by the vast majority of
their residents, it is imperative that these counties have a mechanism
to be released from the transportation district-which has long held
them fiscal hostage.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2011-2012 - S.5278 - Referred to Transportation

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

This bill would result in a cost savings to be determined after such
county or counties reach an agreed upon public transportation plan.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 1988--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation  --  recom-
  mitted  to  the  Committee on Transportation in accordance with Senate
  Rule  6,  sec.  8  --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,  ordered
  reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN  ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation to the election
  by certain counties to withdraw from the metropolitan commuter  trans-
  portation district; and in relation to permitting the county of Putnam
  to make such election

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Section 1279-b of the public authorities law, as  added  by
chapter 669 of the laws of 1986, the opening paragraph of subdivision 1,
the opening paragraph of paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 and subdivisions
3  and  5  as  amended by chapter 670 of the laws of 1986, is amended to
read as follows:
  S 1279-b.  Transition--election  to  withdraw  from  the  metropolitan
commuter  transportation  district. 1. The counties of Dutchess, Orange,
PUTNAM and Rockland shall have an option to withdraw from the  metropol-
itan  commuter  transportation  district  and  have such withdrawal take
effect on either: (a) [January] APRIL first, [nineteen  hundred  eighty-
seven]  TWO  THOUSAND SIXTEEN. If any such county plans to withdraw from
the district on [January] APRIL first, [nineteen  hundred  eighty-seven]
TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN, it shall (i) no later than seventy-five days after
the  effective  date of this section, furnish the commissioner of trans-
portation, and chairman of the authority and the  other  counties  which
have  an option to withdraw, a resolution adopted by the county legisla-
ture providing notice of intent to withdraw, (ii) on or before [October]
JANUARY first,  [nineteen  hundred  eighty-six]  TWO  THOUSAND  FIFTEEN,
furnish  to  the  commissioner  of  transportation,  the chairman of the

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00391-02-4

S. 1988--A                          2

authority and other counties which have an option to withdraw, a  resol-
ution adopted by the county legislature providing for a public transpor-
tation  plan. For the purposes of this section, a "public transportation
plan"  shall  mean  a plan that maintains adequate and continuous public
transportation services from the withdrawing county to the city  of  New
York  or  any terminus previously served, provides a reasonable level of
rail passenger  service,  provides  a  schedule  for  implementing  such
service,  protects  the  public  investment  in  the rail transportation
system and any other criteria deemed necessary by  the  commissioner  of
transportation.  SUCH  PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION PLAN SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT
BE LIMITED TO, AN AGREEMENT BY WHICH SUCH COUNTY SHALL  BE  ENTITLED  TO
LEASE  THE  FACILITIES  AND SERVICES COMPRISING SUCH RAIL TRANSPORTATION
SYSTEM AT FAIR MARKET VALUE AND UNDER SUCH TERMS AND  CONDITIONS  TO  BE
DETERMINED  AS  SET  FORTH  IN SUBDIVISION SIX OF THIS SECTION. Prior to
withdrawal pursuant to this paragraph or paragraph (b) of this  subdivi-
sion,  a  county must receive approval of its public transportation plan
pursuant to paragraph (c) of this subdivision, (iii) on or before Decem-
ber fifteenth,  [nineteen  hundred  eighty-six]  TWO  THOUSAND  FIFTEEN,
furnish  the commissioner of transportation, a copy of an agreement with
the authority or an operator of rail passenger service for the provision
of rail passenger service to and from such county and the  city  of  New
York  or  any terminus previously served. IF SUCH AGREEMENT HAS NOT BEEN
CONCLUDED BY THE RESPECTIVE PARTIES,  AND  A  PARTY  HAS  EXERCISED  ITS
RIGHTS  PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION SIX OF THIS SECTION, THE APPROVAL OF THE
COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED AND  THE  AGREEMENT
OR  ORDER  SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION SIX OF THIS SECTION, SHALL DETERMINE
THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SUCH WITHDRAWAL.
  If a county planning to withdraw on [January] APRIL  first,  [nineteen
hundred eighty-seven] TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN is unable to withdraw because
it  could  not  meet the requirements of this paragraph, it may elect to
withdraw pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subdivision hereafter.
  (b) January first, [nineteen hundred eighty-eight] TWO THOUSAND SEVEN-
TEEN or January first, [nineteen hundred eighty-nine] TWO THOUSAND EIGH-
TEEN.  If any such county plans to withdraw  on  either  January  first,
[nineteen hundred eighty-eight] TWO THOUSAND SEVENTEEN or January first,
[nineteen  hundred  eighty-nine]  TWO THOUSAND EIGHTEEN, it shall (i) no
later than ninety days after the first of January of the year immediate-
ly preceding the year in which such county plans to  withdraw  from  the
district,  furnish  the  commissioner of transportation, the chairman of
the authority and the other counties which have an option to withdraw, a
resolution adopted by the county legislature providing notice of  intent
to  withdraw  from  the  district, (ii) no later than one hundred twenty
days after the first of January of the year  immediately  preceding  the
year in which such county plans to withdraw from the district furnish to
the  commissioner  of  transportation, the chairman of the authority and
the counties which have an option to withdraw a  resolution  adopted  by
the  county  legislature  providing  a  public  transportation  plan  as
described in this section, (iii) on or before October first of the  year
immediately  preceding  the  year in which such county plans to withdraw
from the district, furnish to the commissioner a copy  of  an  agreement
with  the  authority  or  an  operator of rail passenger service for the
provision of rail passenger service to and from such county and the city
of New York or any terminus previously served.   IF SUCH  AGREEMENT  HAS
NOT  BEEN CONCLUDED BY THE RESPECTIVE PARTIES, AND A PARTY HAS EXERCISED
ITS RIGHTS PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION SIX OF THIS SECTION, THE APPROVAL  OF
THE  COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED AND THE AGREE-

S. 1988--A                          3

MENT OR ORDER SET FORTH IN SUCH  SUBDIVISION  SIX  SHALL  DETERMINE  THE
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SUCH WITHDRAWAL.
  (c)  No later than thirty days after receipt of the public transporta-
tion plan the commissioner of transportation shall, in  writing,  either
approve  such  plan  as  conforming  with  the  requirements  heretofore
described or disapprove such plan as failing to meet  such  requirements
and  the  reasons  therefor.  Disapproval of a plan shall not prohibit a
county from resubmitting a public transportation plan and such resubmit-
ted plan shall be approved or disapproved no  later  than  fifteen  days
after  receipt  by the commissioner of transportation. The public trans-
portation plan shall be subject to any state or federal  public  hearing
requirements  which  the  authority would be subject to if the authority
made the changes proposed by such plan.
  (d) Any such county which plans to withdraw  from  the  district  must
meet  the  requirements  of  this section prior to the effective date of
withdrawal, and no withdrawal for the purposes  of  this  section  shall
take  effect  unless such county furnishes the resolutions and agreement
prior to the effective date of withdrawal.
  2. The authority and any subsidiary corporation of the authority shall
enter into an agreement or agreements with a county that plans to  with-
draw from the district to transfer and assign to such county all author-
ity  and subsidiary railroad facilities and operations, rights and obli-
gations,  and  contract  rights  and  obligations,  including  operating
contract  rights  and obligations, which are owned, operated, maintained
or used directly or by contract or which are otherwise involved  in  the
provision  of  railroad  services to such counties. Such agreement shall
provide, in the event a facility,  operation,  right  or  obligation  is
necessary and material to the provision of rail passenger service in the
district  or  is  not  assignable  under  applicable  bond  covenants or
contracts or the parties agree that it should not be assigned, that  the
authority  or subsidiary thereof shall continue to hold and be responsi-
ble for such facility, operation, right  or  obligation  and  that  such
county  shall reimburse to the authority that portion of the cost to the
authority or subsidiary of its retention of  such  facility,  operation,
right  or  obligation  that is allocable [to] WITHIN such county. If the
parties agree that the authority or subsidiary thereof shall operate the
railroad facilities in a county after the effective date of  such  coun-
ty's  withdrawal,  the  agreement  also  shall provide for the terms and
conditions of the operation of such service.
  3. Within forty-five days of the effective date of this  section,  the
authority  and any subsidiary corporation of the authority shall provide
to the counties of Dutchess,  Orange,  PUTNAM  and  Rockland  a  written
statement,  including cost estimates and the useful life, if any, of all
of its facilities, operations, rights and obligations  relating  to  the
provision of rail service in such counties.
  4.  The  authority  and any subsidiary corporation of the authority is
authorized to enter into an agreement or agreements with a  county  that
plans  to withdraw from the district, pursuant to which the authority or
subsidiary thereof will provide  technical  assistance  to  such  county
prior  to, during and after the withdrawal, with respect to the transfer
of ownership, operation, maintenance  and  use  of  railroad  facilities
within such county. Such agreement may provide that the county reimburse
the  authority  or  its subsidiary for the cost to the authority and its
subsidiary for the provision of such technical assistance.
  5. The authority shall have no obligation to undertake or continue any
project or part thereof in a current  or  future  capital  program  plan

S. 1988--A                          4

which  pertains  to  railroad  facilities within or services to a county
that withdraws from the district on or after such date of withdrawal nor
shall the authority enter into any contract for a project or part there-
of  which would increase liabilities pursuant to subdivision [six] SIX-A
of this section in a county after such county notifies the authority  of
its  intent  to withdraw as provided in subdivision one of this section,
provided, however, that if the authority has executed a contract for the
effectuation of a project or part thereof in a capital program  plan  in
such  county,  it  shall  be  assigned to such county in accordance with
subdivision two of this section, unless the parties agree that it  shall
not  be assigned and that the authority or its subsidiary shall continue
to be responsible therefor, in which event the  county  shall  reimburse
the  authority  or  its  subsidiary in accordance with the provisions of
subdivision two of this section.
  6. SHOULD THE COUNTIES OF DUTCHESS, ORANGE, PUTNAM OR ROCKLAND SEEK TO
WITHDRAW FROM THE DISTRICT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, ANY SUCH COUNTY AND
THE AUTHORITY, AND/OR, IF APPROPRIATE ANY SUBSIDIARY CORPORATION OF  THE
AUTHORITY  SHALL  NEGOTIATE IN GOOD FAITH ANY AGREEMENT REQUIRED BY THIS
SECTION FOR  WITHDRAWAL  FROM  THE  DISTRICT.  SUCH  NEGOTIATIONS  SHALL
COMMENCE  NOT  LATER  THAN  FIFTEEN DAYS AFTER THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
PLAN PREPARED BY ANY SUCH COUNTY HAS BEEN SUBMITTED BY  SUCH  COUNTY  TO
THE  AUTHORITY,  AND/OR,  IF  APPROPRIATE, A SUBSIDIARY AUTHORITY. IN NO
EVENT SHALL A COUNTY BE REQUIRED TO NEGOTIATE WITH  BOTH  THE  AUTHORITY
AND  A  SUBSIDIARY  AUTHORITY.  THE  NEGOTIATIONS  CONDUCTED  BY AND THE
ACTIONS OF THE AUTHORITY OR SUBSIDIARY AUTHORITY SHALL BE BINDING.    IF
AFTER  SIXTY  DAYS  FROM THE COMMENCEMENT OF SUCH NEGOTIATIONS OR AT ANY
TIME THEREAFTER THE AUTHORITY  OR  ANY  SUBSIDIARY  CORPORATION  OF  THE
AUTHORITY AND A COUNTY ARE UNABLE TO REACH AN AGREEMENT REQUIRED BY THIS
SECTION  FOR  SUCH  WITHDRAWAL,  EITHER  PARTY MAY MAKE APPLICATION TO A
JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT PRESIDING  IN  THE  COUNTIES  OF  DUTCHESS,
ORANGE,  PUTNAM  OR  ROCKLAND FOR APPOINTMENT OF A SPECIAL REFEREE. EACH
PARTY SHALL SUBMIT TO THE JUSTICE A LIST CONTAINING THE NAMES AND QUALI-
FICATIONS OF FIVE PERSONS TO SERVE AS SPECIAL REFEREE. THE JUSTICE SHALL
SELECT ONE PERSON FROM AMONG THE NAMES SUBMITTED BY THE PARTIES TO SERVE
AS SPECIAL REFEREE. THE SPECIAL REFEREE SHALL MEDIATE  THE  NEGOTIATIONS
FOR WITHDRAWAL FOR A PERIOD OF NO LONGER THAN SIXTY DAYS. IF, AT THE END
OF  SAID  SIXTY DAY PERIOD, THE PARTIES ARE NOT ABLE TO REACH AGREEMENT,
THE SPECIAL REFEREE SHALL, WITHIN THIRTY DAYS THEREAFTER, RECOMMEND  THE
TERMS  OF  THE  WITHDRAWAL  TO THE JUSTICE. THE JUSTICE SHALL REVIEW THE
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE REFEREE AND THE POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES  THEREON
AND  SHALL  ISSUE  AN  ORDER  SETTING FORTH THE TERMS OF THE WITHDRAWAL.
NOTWITHSTANDING THE ENTRY OF SUCH ORDER, A  COUNTY  SHALL  HAVE  FIFTEEN
DAYS FROM THE ENTRY OF SUCH ORDER TO TERMINATE SUCH PROCEEDING. UPON THE
TIMELY  EXERCISE  OF  SUCH  RIGHT TO TERMINATE, SUCH PROCEEDING SHALL BE
DEEMED NULL AND VOID AND OF NO FURTHER EFFECT. IF A COUNTY HAS NOT EXER-
CISED ITS RIGHT TO TERMINATE, SAID ORDER SHALL BE SUBJECT  TO  APPELLATE
REVIEW  IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES, PROVIDED
THAT ANY APPEAL FROM THE ORDER SHALL BE GRANTED EXPEDITED STATUS.
  6-A. Any county which withdraws from the district shall  reimburse  to
the authority or its subsidiary, within the time period agreed to by the
parties, any capital expenditures heretofore undertaken by the authority
or  its subsidiary for railroad facilities only within such county which
were financed by commuter railroad revenue bonds issued by the metropol-
itan transportation authority pursuant to section twelve hundred  sixty-
nine  of this [article] TITLE and are assigned to such county in accord-
ance with the provisions of subdivision two of this section.

S. 1988--A                          5

  [7.] 6-B. The obligations of a county that withdraws from the district
to reimburse the authority and any subsidiary corporation of the author-
ity for the  costs  of  operation,  maintenance  and  use  of  passenger
stations pursuant to section twelve hundred seventy-seven of this [arti-
cle]  TITLE, shall continue for any such costs incurred up to the effec-
tive date of the county's withdrawal from the  district  and  for  costs
incurred thereafter that result from acts preceding such withdrawal, and
the  applicability  of  the  payment  provisions  and procedures of such
section twelve hundred seventy-seven to such county shall continue ther-
eafter with respect to the aforesaid costs.
  [8.] 7. In the event of a county's failure  to  make  payment  of  any
monies  determined by the authority to be owed and due it or any subsid-
iary corporation of the authority pursuant to the terms of any agreement
entered into pursuant to this section, the authority  is  authorized  to
recover  such  payments  in the same manner as in section twelve hundred
seventy-seven of this [article] TITLE and the  state  comptroller  shall
withhold  and  pay monies to the authority in accordance with the proce-
dures set forth in that section.
  8. THE AUTHORITY SHALL MAKE PAYMENT TO THE COUNTY THAT  WITHDRAWS  FOR
THE DIFFERENCE IN THE AMOUNT OF SERVICES RECEIVED FROM THE AUTHORITY AND
MONIES  PAID  BY  THE  COUNTY  TO  THE  AUTHORITY, THIS PAYMENT SHALL BE
EXTRAPOLATED OVER THE PREVIOUS FIVE YEARS FROM THE DATE  OF  WITHDRAWAL.
IF  THE  AUTHORITY  FAILS TO MAKE SUCH PAYMENT TO THE COUNTY, THE AMOUNT
OWED SHALL BE WITHHELD BY THE STATE COMPTROLLER FROM THE  AUTHORITY  AND
THE MONIES SHALL BE PAID TO THE COUNTY.
  9.  The term of office of any resident of a county that withdraws from
the district under this section, as a member of the board of the author-
ity,  the  Metro-North  rail commuter council or the management advisory
board, which is based upon residence in  such  county,  shall  terminate
upon  the  county's withdrawal and the office shall be deemed vacant and
filled in the manner provided by law.
  10.  The provisions of this section and all agreements  undertaken  in
accordance herewith shall be subject to the rights of the holders of any
outstanding bonds or notes issued by the authority.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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