Taxi Surcharge Revenue Comes Up Short

When the New York State Legislature passed a “rescue bill” last year, it contained different funding mechanisms which were to help the MTA have a source of revenue to use. One of those funding mechanisms came from a 50 cent taxi surcharge that the majority of taxi drivers were against. This past Tuesday, the New York Post had an extremely brief report on how the surcharge funding fell short of expectations by $1.4M. Tom Namako has more in this report:

The city’s 50-cent additional charge on every cab ride in the city — money that’s supposed to be sent to the state to support the MTA — came in about $1.4 million short in the first quarter, records show.

Taxi medallion owners were expected to fork over about $14.2 million from November 2009 to March 2010, but instead only sent about $12.8 million to the state’s tax man, the department of Taxation and Finance said.

The money goes to the MTA’s operating budget, part of the 2009 bailout package that is supposed to keep the subways and buses running day-to-day.
Officials said the reason for the shortfall is likely compliance issues, as taxi owners are still getting used to the new charge.

The rider automatically pays the surcharge. If the driver doesn’t own the medallion, he then passes on the collections to the owner, who then passes it on to the state.

Collections of the tax did rebound in recent months, though.

Net collections starting at the beginning of April were $20.3 million.

By year’s end, the state is expecting the surcharge to bring $85 million to the agency’s coffers.

This is not exactly surprising or alarming considering the amount in question is a drop in the bucket as compared to the overall deficit the MTA faces. However something needs to be done to verify all the money is being collected as it should be. Even if the overall amount is small, the last thing the agency needs is to be shortchanged. They have experienced way too much of that over the years.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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