However, for all the benefits the MTA provides, it gets constantly shortchanged by the State of New York and for the services it provide to Nassau County via Long Island Bus.
Every year, when the state has a budget gap to fill, it always takes a swipe at the funding it is supposed to provide the MTA, giving it less and less every year, not realizing that it is putting the economic health of the city and the state on risk- forcing the MTA to do what must do with much less- thus forcing it to cut back service like it did in 2010, when it cut two subway lines, reduced or completely eliminated 110 bus routes and scaled back service on the Long Island Railroad and Metro-North. All of this would have been avoided had the state met it's financial commitments to the MTA- and when the MTA had to these cuts, since by law it must have a balanced budget- lawmakers blasted the MTA, either completely forgot they were responsible, were clueless, or were just being opportunists- in other words, hypocrites. Now, when the MTA needs funding the most, they want to eliminate the payroll tax at exactly the wrong time- thereby forcing the MTA to possibly make even more cuts. So, if they want to take away the payroll tax, they are going to have to give up something in return. So here they are....
- Create a transit "lockbox" to protect dedicated state aid toward the MTA from the hands of the state legislature and senate- by law or preferably, amending the State Constitution.
- Introduce Congestion Pricing or 'Traffic Pricing' to the city- A fee would be charged on all non-emergency cars entering Manhattan below 61st Street, either $6 in both directions or a flat out fee of $12- or install it on all the 'free' East/Harlem River Bridges- in effect raising the area up to Inwood- and provide some much needed cash to the MTA-be it for the Capital Budget or the regular budget. Either way, this money would be for the sole use of the MTA.
- Re-introduce the Commuter Tax- This would also provide a dedicated source funding to the MTA and would be applicable only to jobs here in the city.
- Reduce, but not completely take away the payroll tax- reduce the the areas affected for example, or the tax by 4-9 cents to 30-25 cents out of 100 dollars-still a tax reduction either way.
- Or adopt a mixture of all four.