Senator Skelos Expresses Concern Over the Proposed MTA Bailout

Dean G. Skelos

March 03, 2009

Statement From Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos

Last week, Senator Malcolm Smith said he would bring a bill to the floor that reflected an agreement on an MTA plan for the downstate region.

Senator Smith is pushing for a plan to raise taxes on businesses, schools and not-for-profits in the region, in addition to a plan to impose the largest income tax hike in state history, a proposal that is currently sponsored by 22 members of the Senate Democratic Conference.

Senator Smith’s plan would also dramatically raise taxes on East River bridges and, more problematically, does not include any investments in upstate road and bridge projects, which have historically been enacted at the same time as downstate mass transit improvements.

Not surprisingly, Senator Smith and his Democrat colleague’s plans have gone up in smoke. Today Senator Smith put up a web site and asked for comment on a bill he promised to pass this week. Secondly, Senator Smith is now calling for an audit of the MTA to buy time for a plan that now, apparently, has little support within his own conference.

Today, Assembly Speaker Silver announced that he has backed off his plan to pass an MTA bill until he sees action from Senator Smith and his Democrat colleagues. The end result is that residents of New York State end likely up with more failed promises and more taxes.

Senate Republicans warned about the dangers of one party rule and now the chaos, hypocrisy and focus on raising taxes, demonstrate that our fears are being realized.