Kruger: MTA Funding Plan Will Be “So Outside the Box.”

kruger.jpgLiz Benjamin at Daily Politics and Jimmy Vielkind at Politicker have some updates on the MTA funding discussions in Albany.

When asked about the MTA situation today, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Carl Kruger told Liz that his opposition to tolls on the East and Harlem River bridges has not softened but a new plan is coming together that will be, "comprehensive and so outside the box that everybody should want to partner with it." 

OK, so, I’ve got a free, signed copy of Jeff Mapes’ "Pedaling Revolution" for the Streetsblog commenter who correctly guesses Kruger and friends’ plan for staving off MTA fare hikes.

  • Lollipop tax?

  • Too-small t-shirt tax? Clarence, watch out for that one…

  • Legalize marijuana and hookers, tax ’em, and give state legislators and MTA board members free “EZ Passes” for both.


  • Tax-on-those-who-do-not-use-boxes to move to and from residences.

    (He did say it was outside the box….)

  • Commuter tax? The “box” would be the city borders.

  • Geck

    He wants to reinstate the commuter tax.

  • Bicycle registration and cyclist licensing fees?

  • Red

    How about a combination of the Diaz Sr., Kruger, and Markowitz plans? First, create a new Mega-Millions lottery to fund mass transit. Then, take the proceeds and buy Canadian prescription drugs. Resell them for an even greater profit, then invest it in the state’s pension fund. BAM! $6 billion a year – more than enough to fill the operating gap and fund the capital program (pay-as-you-go!).

    For good measure, this plan will also “force the issue” on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

  • Doug

    Shut down the MTA?

  • J-Uptown

    Massive service cuts?

  • Lars

    Taxing MetroCards 20%? Then using the funds to keep the fares where they are.

  • Mookie

    Red deserves a free something for coming up with a plan the morons will envy.

    If Red’s plan doesn’t sell, how about the magical public private partnership? Sell the MTA to Citibank in exchange for a huge portfolio of bad debt that the feds will guarantee. Structure the plan so the subways and buses are free for the first two years and cost a lot later. The 7 train will be free for Mets games at Citifield.

  • mfs

    Definitely going to include a prostitute tax, but the outside-the-box comment would seem to go against this, so I think it’ll be more of a sex toy tax.

    The only two good “outside the box” ideas that could come out of this would be a region-wide gas tax or a land tax for land close to subway and commuter rail stations, regardless of what is on the land.

    Reinstating the commuter tax is unlikely, and would do more harm than the region-wide payroll tax (which is just a commuter tax with larger borders) unless it is used to fund more than transit.

  • Joke guess: Bike registration (with little license plates!) at $1000/year

    Real guess: Ummm…something that screws the rich…but not low income NYC drivers…and leaves the bridges free…tax cars at 1% on their blue-book value each year. Old beater? $20 bucks. New luxury car? $500.

    But that would take brains…I’ll go with the lollipop/tight shirt tax.

  • Dismantle the bridges and use the bits to build Atlantic Yards?

  • Larry Littlefield

    Borrowing even more money, possibly while pretending not to.

    What do these SOBs love to hurt more than drivers, transit riders, the rich, the poor, the city, the suburbs or upstate?

    The future, and those who will live in it. While promising something for nothing in the here and now.

    I want bankruptcy. I want the state shut down, and their pensions taken away.

  • vnm

    Red, LOL. I’d be laughing … if it wasn’t true.

  • Larry Littlefield

    You have to think like a state legislator. What is the most destructive, harmful thing they could do while claiming to be heroes?

    1) Sell all the tolled MTA Bridges and Tunnels to a private entity in exchange for a one-time up front fee, to be spent between now and their re-election in 2010. Fares would be cut. They’ll say that since they were creative this time, someone else would have to be creative next time.

    2) Enact a pension contribution waiver for the MTA for the next two years, on the assumption that even higher investment returns would make it up. To keep the unions happy, they’d all get irrevocable pension sweeteners, including 20/50 for the TWU. Higher investment returns (say an average of 12% per year indefinately) would pay for that, too.

    ANYTHING THEY DO will be worse in the long run than the “Doomsday Plan.”

  • I got it: hire Bernie Madoff to raise funds for MTA!

  • I too fully expect some one-time accounting trick. Except that wouldn’t be “out of the box”, it would be business as usual.

  • Mike

    We’ve been here before. Last time we were here, in the ’70s, the Second Avenue Subway was halted. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened again.

    As Larry says, whatever they do, it’ll be a one-shot trick that leaves us in much worse shape in a few years — exactly the opposite of what bridge tolls would have accomplished. (Sigh.)

  • The hypocrisy is staggering. The same politicians angry with the MTA for a lack of transparency are keeping their own last-minute magic formula ‘under wraps so as not to be co-opted by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.’ Does ALL of NYC infrastructure have to crumble for politicians, on both sides, to wake the hell up? Fund mass transit! The city is dead without it!

  • This was a funny thread until Larry had to come in and scare the hell out of me. Sad thing is, his seems to be one of the most realistically outside of the box. I don’t even want to guess lest it give me nightmares.

  • Mike

    East river bridge tolls… but only for bikes and pedestrians.

  • Bike Dude

    Chinese food delivery tax.

  • po

    Jeez, just fund it already. If not, I’m moving.

  • Bridge tolls would have accomplished nothing. They would only seek to raise the tolls on those bridges every year due to “budget issues”.


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