With a little more than a month to go until the transit authority hikes fares and slashes services, the state senate is discombobulated on what to do about funding the NYC subway but they do know something has to be done. The latest plan was read from Senator Dilan to reporters earlier this afternoon.
--A drop-off tax for taxis of either 50 cents or a dollar, depending upon how much is needed for upstate roads bridges
--A car registration surcharge
--A payroll tax, without exemption for school districts or non-profits
--A driver's license surcharge
--The smaller fare hike proposed by the M.T.A.
"We should hopefully have a draft bill today or tomorrow," Dilan said.
Notice that out of all points, there is no toll. The Gang of Four had that as a sticking point, so this bill might actually have legs to carry it across the finish line without the help of the minority caucus. The suburban Dems like Craig Johnson have expressed disapproval of the payroll tax before but if they can be quelled by the taxi surcharge then this thing could be a go.
It is a shame though that funding the M.T.A. has to be such an arduous task. This mess is upon us due to years of fiscal mismanagement and all Albany could come up with this year is a hodge podge of fees along with a second fare hike in about fourteen months. What we need is a more comprehensive, long-term plan though our Senate and its' leaders are too timid to push for a more solid solution. Instead we'll probably be looking at another fare hike next year, whether it be five, fifteen or twenty-five percent.