We all know by now that the MTA is in the midst of a huge financial crisis. Just how crazy have things been for the agency in terms of finances? Well chew on this, in February they projected the 2009 budget deficit to be $216 million. Then in July when MTA CEO/Executive Director Elliot Sander released the MTA’s 2009 Preliminary Budget, the deficit figure rose to $900 million. Now due to the current economic conditions factored with a 40% plunge in mortgage-related tax revenue, the MTA will have to revise its budget deficit numbers again. Patrick Arden of Metro New York has more in this brief report:
The MTA called yesterday for a special meeting on Nov. 10 so board members can grapple with revised budget numbers as revenues continue to decline.
While the agency’s take at the fare box continues to exceed expectations, tax revenues from real estate transactions — the reason for surpluses in recent years — have taken a dive. In July, the MTA revised its earlier financial projections to forecast a 2009 deficit of $900 million. That led the agency to plan for an 8 percent fare hike and demand more money from the city and the state.
Now the MTA is revising its numbers for an unprecedented second time in a single year, as its mortgage-recording taxes have plunged 40 percent from 2007.
MTA chief Elliot Sander had earlier warned that service cuts could be a possibility.
Let me be frank here, the news that will come from this meeting will not be for the faint of heart. Do not be surprised if they propose a bigger fare hike along with service cuts. While the riding public does not need or deserve such a fate, it is the reality of the current financial makeup of the MTA. You can only blame them for this so much as our elected officials are the main culprits.
xoxo Transit Blogger