Montesano Wants MTA Finances Back On Track

April 26, 2010

Assemblyman Michael A. Montesano (R,I,C-Glen Head) today addressed the chronic problems at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), calling on the troubled mass-transit agency to undergo a complete audit of its finances and abolish the payroll tax, one of the revenue schemes used to bail out the MTA last spring. Montesano noted that real reform meant repealing once and for all the 34 percent payroll tax on Long Island small businesses, nonprofits, local government, and the self-employed, a fundamentally unfair levy which collects revenues to fund services most Nassau County residents rarely use.

“As we’ve learned at the federal level, bailouts don’t work,” said Montesano. “Budget balances may change, but bad habits endure. We cannot continue to fund poor policies, inefficient services, and faulty management. I was heartened to see the comptroller’s office take up an overdue forensic audit of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority – I have after all been advocating for such a measure since I entered the Assembly – but it needs to be open and accountable to the taxpayers of Long Island. The MTA runs the risk of another expensive bailout if the Legislature does not act soon to correct the bad practices of its management. Moral hazard applies equally to mortgage markets as it does to trains and buses, and the taxpayer is always left to clean up somebody else’s mess.”