SENATORS TO LAUNCH REGIONAL TASK FORCE ON MTA Bonacic: “New Goal Must be to Make Something Constructive Come From these New and Unwarranted Taxes and Fees Forced Upon our Region”

John J. Bonacic

May 14, 2009

Mid-Hudson Valley State Senators today proposed a regional taskforce to summarize the current MTA services offered to Hudson Valley area residents in Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Rockland Counties and make specific recommendations for key, specific, desired improvements to MTA service in the Hudson Valley.

 The task force, formed by State Senators John Bonacic, Bill Larkin, Vincent Leibell, and Thomas Morahan, will focus on how the MTA can contribute to the economic vitality of the region and what key, specific improvements should be made by the MTA to serve the Hudson Valley.     The regional task force is being put together by area Senators including State Senator John Bonacic.

 The task force is inviting area business leaders, local officials, MTA Board Members, and other State officials to join with them.     The Hudson Valley’s representatives all objected to the new MTA tax.  Businesses, not for profits, county government, libraries, area colleges, and schools are all now forced to pay a tax on their payrolls. Drivers will also pay more for their licenses and vehicle registrations.

 Legislative leaders have agreed to reimburse schools but the promise is not binding and no reimbursement will go to private schools, colleges, counties, and towns –who will have to raise tuition, cut services, or raise property taxes to make up the multi-million dollar regional difference.     

 "We all voted against these taxes and fees.  The question is what are we going to do about it," said State Senator John Bonacic, adding "there has to be more than just voting no.”  

 Task force participants will be requested to lay out key, prioritized areas where improvements can be made. Bonacic said the goal is not to develop a laundry list of requests, but rather offer key proposals designed to make the MTA more user-friendly to Hudson Valley residents.     

 The task force will be composed of leaders of both for profit and not for profit businesses, elected local government officials, commuters, and business development officials.

Local MTA representatives will also be invited to participate.   The task force is currently being formed and taskforce members will be announced in the next one to three weeks.