MTA ‘12 Budget Spares Cuts, Leaves $68M Deficit

Agency's chief financial officer warns MTA could face further cuts next year if Wall Street bonuses don't generate enough tax revenue.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority passed a 2012 budget plan Wednesday that avoids service cuts and fare hikes but leaves the agency with a $68 million deficit.

The agency’s chief financial officer, Robert Foran, told board members he would close about half of the gap with reserve funds, but wasn’t sure how he’d deal with the roughly $35 million deficit that would remain, reports The New York Times.

One board member, Allen Cappelli, proposed the MTA redistribute $20 million in the budget to reinstate 2010 service cuts that drew ire from straphangers, suggesting the monies be generated from consolidation of some administrative departments, among other cuts.

Foran, however, argued the already cash-strapped agency would likely face even more difficult financial times because it relies on tax revenue from Wall Street bonuses, which he expects to be smaller next year. And when that happens, Foran cautioned the MTA may face further cuts.

Still, Foran and other top MTA officials promised straphangers would not be subject to fare hikes or service cuts in 2012, despite the agency’s sizable deficit and looming financial concerns. 

Ultimately, the board rejected Cappelli’s proposal and passed the operating budget.

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