MTA Plan: Corporate Tax, Bridge Tolls, "Automatic" But Lower Fare Hikes

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Former MTA boss Richard Ravitch revealed his commission's plan for saving the MTA today. It calls for the state to take over the city's big bridges, putting tolls on the East River and Harlem River bridges, a third-of-a-percent "mobility" payroll tax on corporations, and biennial, automatic increases on fares and tolls without the hearings that usually accompany such matters.

The plan, which has to be approved by the State Legislature, is supposed to raise $2.1 billion via the new tax and tolls, and keep fare increases from going to 23 percent (as previously outlined by the MTA) allow improvements to bus service, which would administrated by a new Regional Bus Authority subsidiary of the MTA.

Governor Paterson, who joined Ravitch and Mayor Bloomberg at the announcement, said that the commission "suggests that the MTA take steps to ensure that the development of its next capital plan is more transparent and that the Authority institute better management of capital construction projects."

The President of the New York League of Conservative Voters praised the plan to the Times, saying the commission "recognizes the gravity of this situation." But he New York State Conservative Party called the proposed tax "ruinous," saying corporations are "already overburdened with taxes" by which they pay for "poor business practices by government." (photo via joe's nyc.)

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