Last week, the MTA outlined their plan for its 2020/2021 Fare and Toll Policy Review. One item of major concern is the proposal to reduce or suspend the resident discount on the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge.
Through a collaborative effort from the Staten Island Delegation in the State Legislature, there has been an annual agreement reached with Governor Cuomo to secure the resident toll at $5.50. Additionally, with the passage of the 2019 Budget, congestion pricing or what is now being labeled as the Central Business District Tolling Program was passed.
A Mansion Tax on the sale of properties valued at $25 million or above was also passed. Estimated to raise $356 million, the revenue would be deposited into the MTA’s Central Business District tolling capital lockbox earmarked specifically to support up to $5 billion in financing for MTA projects. The Internet Sales Tax was also enacted to provide a consistent framework for the collection of required sales taxes by internet marketplace providers, estimated to bring in $320 million for the MTA capital plan lockbox. Finally, there was the creation of a six-member Traffic Mobility Review Board that would advise on tolls, exemptions and credits.
The MTA will host eight virtual hearings in December to receive customer feedback on the proposed changes, giving Islander’s a chance to voice their grievances with the agency’s consideration of eliminating the resident discount program.
- Tuesday, December 1, 2020, - 5:30 p.m.
- Thursday, December 3, 2020, - 10 a.m.
- Monday, December 7, 2020, - 5:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, December 9, 2020, - 5:30 p.m.
- Monday, December 14, 2020, - 5:30 p.m.
- Monday, December 21, 2020, - 10 a.m.
“My colleagues and I have successfully made efforts to secure new funding streams for the infrastructure needs in Staten Island and the rest of New York City. Placing the burden of the MTA’s budget shortfall on hardworking residents, who have been financially strained by the pandemic is not acceptable. I am urging the MTA to not move forward with this proposal of eliminating the resident discount, and potential cuts to essential public transit service, especially during these dire times.
I am also encouraging all Staten Islander’s to participate in the above-mentioned hearings to voice their opposition. Through a unified mass effort, your voices will be heard,” said Assemblyman Charles D. Fall.