Testimony to MTA about NYS Skipping Out on $375M in Promised Payments

Testimony to MTA Board


New Watchdog Report Finds NYS Has Skipped Out on $375 Million in Promised Payments to MTA

The Governor and Legislature Must Restore Funding in FY 2023-24 Executive Budget to Reduce Amount Needed for New Taxes

Good morning. I am Rachael Fauss, Senior Policy Advisor for Reinvent Albany. We advocate for more transparent and accountable New York government, including for authorities like the MTA.

Our new report, Skipping Out, finds that NYS has skipped out on $375 million a year in promised payments to the MTA – over the last 20 years, this has resulted in billions less in state funds for mass transit. The governors’ budgets, which have been approved by the state legislature, have taken $175 million a year in dedicated transit funds for the state’s 18-b contribution, and made MTA eat $200 million in Payroll Mobility  “make whole” costs not indexed to inflation.

Our November 2022 report, Ridership Down, found that MTA monthly transit ridership remains at 65% of 2019 levels, and the MTA is losing $200 million a month in farebox revenue compared to 2019 in 2022. The MTA desperately needs new state dedicated revenues, and to reduce the amount needed in new taxes or fees, the Governor should make good on historical funding promises. 

By ending budget scams, Governor Hochul can immediately restore $375 million in MTA funds. In her FY 2023-24 Executive Budget, Governor Hochul must restore two important funding sources for transit riders:

  • $175 million: 18-b “matching fund” commitments to the MTA should come from the General Fund, NOT by raiding dedicated transit funds and claiming them as the state’s match, essentially “robbing Peter to pay Peter”. (New York City meets its 18-b commitment to the MTA from its General Fund.) 
  • $200 million: Payroll Mobility Tax (PMT) “replacement funds” must be adjusted for inflation, truly making the MTA whole for exemptions to the tax created in 2011 and 2016. 

Thank you for your consideration.

Click here or below to see the full report.