MTA Rescue Plan Wins Support Of NY Governor

The MTA rescue plan, with its new East & Harlem River bridge tolls and first-ever, 12-county transit payroll tax cleared a major political hurdle by winning the crucial support of NY Gov' Paterson. Winning support from mayor, outer boroughs remains.

"Gov. David A. Paterson said for the first time that he supported a financial rescue plan for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that includes charging tolls on bridges over the East and Harlem Rivers (that are currently free).

The governor also spoke favorably about a recommendation in the plan for a tax (of one-third of 1 percent) on company payrolls in the region."

"The governor said the plan would include an increase in fare revenues of 8 percent next year, scaling back a 23 percent increase that the authority had previously said it would need."

"It's either going to be fare hikes or it's going to be tolls and a combination of payroll taxes", the governor proclaimed.

"The governor's support is crucial for the plan to make its way through Albany, where it will need approval by the Legislature.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's support will also be needed for the plan to succeed."

Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn warned, "We have to make sure that the outer boroughs don't bear a disproportionate share of the pain."

Full Story: Paterson Backs Bridge Tolls in Plan to Rescue M.T.A.

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