Paterson: MTA Bailout Won't Include Bridge Tolls

Payroll tax, modified fare increases and new fees for drivers are on the table

Gov. David Paterson and New York legislative leaders are rejecting a proposal to put tolls on bridges as part of any deal to bail out New York City's financially troubled mass transit system.

After meeting for more than 90 minutes behind closed doors this morning, Gov. David Paterson, Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver emerged to say they are “desperately” trying to work out an agreement to save the MTA.

Paterson says the Senate's Democrat majority has taken the tolls off the table and Assembly Speaker Silver is accepting that.

Also under consideration are proposals to hike Metropolitan Transportation Authority fares an average 8 percent and a payroll tax for businesses in the MTA's 12-county region.

Now Albany has to find a way to replace millions of dollars the tolls would have brought. Senate Democrats from the outer boroughs strongly opposed the tolls.

Smith says he hopes a deal can be struck Tuesday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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