Lawmakers in Albany are considering a last-minute bailout for lost toll revenue



Albany lawmakers are poised to approve a last-minute backroom measure to close the financial hole in the MTA’s capital plan created by Gov. Kathy Hochul’s decision to eliminate the controversial toll earlier this week.

State lawmakers in both the Assembly and Senate told The Post they are considering a bill to give the MTA a glorified bond, enough to cover the projected $1 billion in projected congestion pricing revenue for each of the next 15 years.

“It’s a very simple thing that just says there will be a billion dollars for the MTA in next year’s budget, but without any details on what that means,” Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), deputy majority leader of the House, told reporters. Senate, shortly afterwards to reporters. Senators broke off from a nearly three-hour meeting around 11 p.m. Thursday.

A Senate spokesperson said the exact wording of the bill is expected to be released Friday and a vote will take place sometime during the day.

State lawmakers in both the General Assembly and Senate told The Post they are considering a bill to give the MTA a glorified bond. Newsday via Getty Images
The New York Post’s front page for June 6, 2024: “Tool Boot!” rfaraino

Lawmakers are furious with Hochul from all sides after she made her decision to eliminate the toll just a day before the scheduled end of the legislative session and without an immediate plan to replace the expected revenue.

“No one wants to see the MTA capital plan explode and unfortunately the governor has created an environment where that is at risk,” Gianaris said before showing off a pair of MTA-branded socks.

Hochul’s initial proposal to increase the mobility tax on companies drew swift reactions from lawmakers across the board and from some of her allies in the business community. The move shocked many, as Hochul had firmly refused to raise taxes as part of budget talks earlier this year.

A map of the MTA’s congestion pricing plan for Manhattan. NY Post Composite
On May 22, 2024, a congestion pricing toll gantry will be on W40th Street in Manhattan. Christopher Sadowski

That field was effectively dead before sunset Thursday, leading lawmakers to work with Hochul and the MTA to hammer out a palatable alternative that would keep projects slated to receive capital funds alive and improve the transit agency’s financial health retain.

It is still unclear how much support the “IOU” measure has in both houses, although several lawmakers have already told the Post they plan to vote against it.

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