Comptroller Says NYC Pays ‘Invisible Fare’ to Run MTA

NEW YORK (AP) -
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer marching on Sunday with his two children, Max and Miles, in the Israel Day Parade up Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. (Hamodia Photo)
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer marching on Sunday with his two children, Max and Miles, in the Israel Day Parade up Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. (Hamodia Photo)

New York City is spending so much to run the MTA that it amounts to an “invisible fare” of $130 a month per household, City Comptroller Scott Stringer charged in a report released Tuesday.

Stringer said an analysis by his office shows that in addition to the $5.3 billion city residents paid in fares and tolls last year, New Yorkers paid $4.8 billion in taxes, subsidies and direct expenditures to the city’s transit agency.

“When it comes to paying for the MTA, New York City residents and businesses bear a much larger financial burden than we ever knew before,” Stringer said.

He added, “It may be an invisible fare, but New York City’s taxpayers feel it in their wallet every month.”

The $4.8 billion includes taxes and fees levied on city residents such as the 50-cent-a-ride taxi surcharge as well as $612.5 million for debt service payments and policing the subway system, Stringer said.

Stringer said New York City contributed 68 percent of the MTA’s operating budget in fiscal year 2014 while New York state paid just 4 percent or $603.5 million.

In a statement, the MTA said the Comptroller was using “fuzzy math to justify letting the city off the hook for using some of its billions in future surpluses to pay its fair share for mass transit.”