Mayor Bloomberg sure seems to think so. According to him, the uncollected taxes on cigarettes sold on Indian reservations could starve off at least one of the two potential fare hikes facing commuters. David Seifman of the New York Post filed the brief report:
NEW ORLEANS – Mayor Bloomberg blew smoke in the MTA’s face over its fare-hike plans.
Hizzoner said yesterday uncollected taxes on cigarettes sold on Indian reservations could spare straphangers at least one of two proposed fare hikes to close a $700 million hole in the MTA’s budget.
“That just alone would replace one of those fare increases,” said Bloomberg, who was in New Orleans for the National Conference of State Legislatures. “We want to make sure that the state goes and finds alternative sources.”
Bloomberg also said the MTA, which called for an 8 percent fare hike in July 2009 and another 5 percent increase in 2011, should cut more than 1.5 percent of the budget from each of its agencies over the next four years.
Lets see if these taxes really help starve off at least one fare hike. I have my doubts considering that for starters the tax has been uncollected all this time. Lastly why should I believe the state would do the right thing & use that money to help fund the MTA. Their past track record of shafting or outright stealing money from the MTA is more than enough reason to question the reality of them doing the right thing. We shall see…..
xoxo Transit Blogger