Thursday, May 07, 2009

MTA Bailout Plan To Hit LIers Hard

NYS Senate Minority Leader Speaks Out

The inherent partisanship of the message aside, what State Senator Dean Skelos had to say about the recently passed bailout of the floundering MTA rings true for every Long Islander, if not most New Yorkers.

On the flip side, whichever party is in the minority on any given issue, whether budgets or bailouts, you can't just be "against" it. You have to actually be "for" something, with a viable, comprehensive alternative plan of your own.

"No" is not a solution. While we agree, in principal, with Senator Skelos and those who have stood fast against the MTA bailout in its present incarnation, we never did hear a detailed, workable plan from the loyal opposition, let alone a reasonable explanation -- or, for that matter, any explanation -- as to why, during all those years when the opposition party had control, there was never a plan in place or on the table to remediate the doomsday time bomb that has ticked away at the MTA for decades.

You simply cannot have it both ways, and in the end, its the homeowners/taxpayers/farepayers who are left holding the strap and paying the price.
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A Message from NYS Senator Dean G. Skelos:

Dear friends,

The Senate Democrats are today praising a deal on an MTA bailout that was negotiated behind closed doors and will have a devastating impact on our state. While they talk a lot about "One New York", the reality is they always put New York City first and I am proud to report that I voted against this plan.

The $2.2 billion MTA bailout plan is a massive new mandate that will drive up property taxes, increase taxes on businesses and cause the loss of jobs throughout the MTA region. The bill would do little to reform the bloated and wasteful spending of the MTA.

The $1.5 billion jobs tax, which is the centerpiece of the plan, will be devastating for businesses, not-for-profits, hospitals, local governments and school districts. The payroll tax is a tax on jobs that will cause businesses to lay off workers and hurt New York's ability to recover from the national economic recession.

On Long Island alone, Nassau and Suffolk County taxpayers will have to pay an additional $9 million (combined) in county property taxes. In addition, Long Island commuters will be hit particularly hard by the higher fares.

After $10 billion in new taxes from the budget and the MTA bailout plan, how will we finance the rest of the MTA capital plan that is left unfunded today? Higher fares? Service cuts? More taxes? What about Long Island's road and bridge needs?

I believe that we should not have to pay one more dime to bail out a transit system that has been poorly managed for decades, and that is why I voted against this legislation. Please be assured that I will continue to fight for your best interests and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me.

Very truly yours,
Dean Skelos
Senator- 9th District

PS- Take a look at what others are saying about this devastating plan:

Jim Kaden, President of the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association
"The 8 p.m. press conference revealing the Senates MTA bailout deal was appropriately timed...IN THE DARK OF NIGHT! An announcement that the scheme would be put to a vote in the Assembly and Senate in less than 24 hours (Utilizing a 'message of necessity')... BACKROOM DEALING AT ITS WORST! Long Island schools are being ordered to take on a permanent obligation to fund the MTA in exchange for a promissory note that is not worth the paper it is not written on."

Matthew Crosson, President of the Long Island Association
"This goes well beyond the Albany dysfunction to which New Yorkers have become so depressingly familiar. These tax increases are deeply wounding this state's economic base at a time when it is most vulnerable. Governor Paterson and the legislative leaders do not appear to recognize that tax increases of this scope and breadth during a recession will have permanently damaging consequences. If New York is to be saved, this must stop. New York's leaders must stop reflexively resorting to tax increases to solve fiscal problems of their own making."

John Cameron, Chairman of the Long Island Regional Planning Board
"To have a business in Brookhaven and Riverhead have to pay the same tax as a business in Queens" is unfair, he said. "Long Island's been shortchanged." "I'm very discouraged," he added. "I don't believe that Long Island's interests were well represented when the MTA's bailout did not include tolls on the East River bridges," which he said would have been an appropriate funding mechanism since it would be based on transportation.
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Looks like Senator Skelos forgot to quote The Community Alliance blog. Oh well. Left in the wilderness of cyberspace once again.

Want to contact Senator Skelos about the MTA bailout, or other matters of community concern?

Here's how:
Albany Office
Room 907 LOB
Albany, NY 12247
(518) 455-3171

District Office
55 Front Street
Rockville Centre, NY 11570
(516) 766-8383

Or click HERE to contact the Senator via his online form.

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