Statement by State Senator Kevin Parker on the MTA's latest Financial Crisis

Kevin S. Parker

April 14, 2009

"After years of mismanagement and months of threatened fare hikes, the MTA now admits its most recent proposed "doomsday" fare increase is insufficient to balance its books. The MTA is demanding greater financial support from New York taxpayers even though MTA internal revenue forecasts from just three weeks ago are already coming up short.

"I have consistently opposed the MTA’s "doomsday" fare increase and the proposed imposition of bridge tolls because those measures do nothing to address the core problems of fiscal mismanagement and inefficient operations at the MTA. Instead, the MTA seeks to balance its books on the backs of commuters and local taxpayers.

"The Ravitch Commission made a series of proposals dealing with both new revenues and reforms needed at the MTA. The MTA endorses the revenue proposals, but refuses the reform proposals. How can taxpayers and commuters trust the MTA when they refuse to change?

"The Senate Majority proposed a plan that includes new revenues, but requires MTA reform, and we remain committed to helping the MTA and commuters. The Senate plan does not impose new tolls, and recommends a more modest payroll tax and smaller fare increases than those proposed in the Ravitch Commission report and the MTA Financial Plan.

"Fiscal accountability on the part of the MTA must be reinstated. Unless and until the MTA allows an independent audit of their finances, agrees to greater transparency and accountability, and changes their bloated management structure and bureaucracy; legislators, taxpayers, and commuters will simply be pouring money down the MTA drain."