Tell Albany to Stop Stealing Dedicated Funds from the MTA

Lt. Governor Richard Ravitch is leaving office ringing the alarm about the state of our public infrastructure. Governor Patterson has announced plans to cut $315 million from the budget to close this year’s deficit, an amount that Comptroller DiNapoli estimates to be closer to $900 million.   Earlier this year when the Governor and the Legislature enacted a 1% across the board cut, $16 million of dedicated tax revenue was swiped from the MTA.  As part of the deficit reduction plan last December $143 million in dedicated tax revenue was taken out of the MTA coffers. The MTA is the economic engine that supports the downstate region.  The severe service cuts that took place this year as a direct result of the theft of dedicated revenues have had far reaching effects on New Yorkers.  Ravitch’s warning is from a man who has seen the enormous damage done to our city when political expedience, rather than courageous leadership, directed our state’s fiscal policy during a time of crisis. Albany must find a way of closing the budget gap without picking the MTA’s pockets.