Friday, July 25, 2008

Mayor Still on the Warpath

Mayor Mike gave a speech yesterday to the National Conference of State Legislatures, and as the NY Daily News describes it, Bloomberg still wants to tap the uncollected Indian cigarette tax revenues in order to defray the rising cost of mass transit: "After November, New York State is going to discover a very large deficit. The MTA is already discovering a very large deficit. And the public is starting to say, 'Hey, how come you aren't putting in the security systems that you promised? How come you aren't giving us the new buses we need? How come you aren't expanding all of the services that will help me get to work?'" The mayor also said the state should start collecting tax revenues from the Indian reservations that sell cigarettes to offset the MTA's proposal of two new fare hikes"

And he's absolutely right. In fact, the legislature should begin to examine using these uncollected funds for a dedicated revenue source for transit needs. As part of this legislative initiative, there needs to be a full evaluation of how to effectively revamp the MTA so that the additional funds aren't squandered into the agency's fiscal black hole.