MTA Rescue Plan Is Likely Delayed Until Next Week

State budget, MTA rescue plan are unlikely to reach a final resolution until next week

New York lawmakers are still battling over a bailout plan for the MTA, but sources in Albany said any decision on the state’s budget and a possible injection of money to mass transit is unlikely until next week.

The state missed its April 1 budget deadline.

On Wednesday, Gov. David Paterson blamed the state Senate for the impasse over the MTA's funding, saying it was "deplorable" it has not reached an agreement to protect riders from the so-called “doomsday budget” that would boost fares by 20 to 30 percent.  A single ride would increase from $2 to $2.50 under the plan.

Those fare hikes could take effect June 1 if the state does not come up with a rescue plan for the MTA, which faces a $1.2 billion deficit.

The Assembly has approved a $131 billion budget that Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith and Paterson agreed to earlier this week.  The Sentate delayed a vote on the budget after one lawmaker fell ill.

Two possible revenue-raisers for the MTA, tolls on East and Harlem River bridges and a payroll tax for employers in and around New York City, have been rejected by some Democratic state senators.  Word of a surcharge on taxis has also been met with protest.

The payroll tax, a key component of the rescue plan, would be paid by employers in the 12 counties served by the MTA.

"There are Democratic senators who won't vote for the tolls, and there are Democratic senators who won't vote for the mobility tax, and there are Republican senators who won't vote for anything," Paterson told reporters on Wednesday.

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