Millman Speaks on MTA Budget

Assembly Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Examines Ravitch Commission Proposal
December 11, 2008
New York, NY – Yesterday, Assemblywoman Joan Millman questioned members of Governor Paterson’s Commission on Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Financing Richard Ravitch and Lee Sander at a hearing of the Assembly Standing Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions.

The committee, chaired by Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, met to review the short and long term fiscal and budgetary issues facing the MTA. Also participating in the hearing were committee members Assemblymen Adriano Espaillat and Carl E. Heastie. The recently unveiled report by the Commission on MTA Financing, led by former MTA Chairman Ravitch, proposes such measures as a regional mobility tax on businesses and organizations, tolls on East and Harlem River bridges, a regular cycle of predictable fare and toll increases, and greater transparency and accountability of MTA finances.

“We cannot deny that these are difficult economic times,” stated Millman. “However, there is no reason public transportation riders should bear the brunt by paying more money for less service. Next week I will join my colleagues in Albany to hear Governor Paterson’s 2009 Budget proposal. The financial state of the MTA will be one of the major issues we work with the Governor to address.”

Assemblywoman Millman has been a longtime advocate for reinstating the commuter tax. In addition, she plans to reintroduce residential permit parking legislation when the new Assembly session begins in January 2009. She also has joined numerous elected officials to demand greater fiscal accountability for the MTA. For example, it is believed that the MTA could have sold the Atlantic Yards property for a greater profit.