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BrooklynBus

Demanding Transit Accountability: How Does $358 Million Turn into $20 Million?

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lol... The (MTA) doesn't want anything streamlined because that would mean that they could be held accountable...  That's like tax preparers.... People have said for years that the tax code should be simplified.  Tax preparers would never support this because it would put them out of business.  It needs to be complicated so that folks keep coming to them to get their taxes done.  With the (MTA) , it needs to remain complicated to make the money trail more difficult to follow.

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8

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Isn't this "new funding" the replacement funding for the suburban payroll tax? The MTA has also been used as a piggy bank all the way going back to Pataki, so let's not pretend like this begins to make up for all that lost money.

 

We should all keep in mind that Cuomo has a habit of taking credit for anything good that occurs in Albany, while downplaying any negatives that have occurred during his time in office (the smothering of the transit lockbox, the gutting of transit on the Tappan Zee and the attempt to shush the public outcry that followed, various transit raids, etc.)

Edited by bobtehpanda

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Lmao at - "The fact that you would go on the record like this absolutely confounds me. Why wouldn’t you privately ask someone intelligent about this before including it in a blog post?"

 

Anyway, I have to agree with those commenters "fdtutf" & "F Train Man" on the blog.... Although it's still underhanded for the MTA to put it out there like they've obtained 358 million extra, instead of netting however many tens of millions it was that was obtained.... The same suits/agency I'm supposed to believe has its finances in order & has the public in its best interest......

 

Absolutely laughable.... When it comes to anything dollar-figure related, I'm not taking the MTA at face value for shit !!

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Lmao at - "The fact that you would go on the record like this absolutely confounds me. Why wouldn’t you privately ask someone intelligent about this before including it in a blog post?"

 

Anyway, I have to agree with those commenters "fdtutf" & "F Train Man" on the blog.... Although it's still underhanded for the MTA to put it out there like they've obtained 358 million extra, instead of netting however many tens of millions it was that was obtained.... The same suits/agency I'm supposed to believe has its finances in order & has the public in its best interest......

 

Absolutely laughable.... When it comes to anything dollar-figure related, I'm not taking the MTA at face value for shit !!

It was the governor not the MTA that put out the $358 million figure. You are blaming the wrong people. I just came back from the B32/67 hearing so I've had no time to look at this further. I'm going to study it tomorrow and see if I can make heads or tails out of this extra funding and how it relates to the payroll tax.

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It was the governor not the MTA that put out the $358 million figure. I'm going to study it tomorrow and see if I can make heads or tails out of this extra funding and how it relates to the payroll tax.

 

Now in response to a commenter on Sheepshead Bites who stated that everything was explained in the 2013 February Financial Plan, this is my response to him:

 

You shouldn't have to do major legwork to get some answers to simple financial questions. There should be a direct link for general financial information and another link to the detailed reports for those desiring more details.

This is what I am able to figure out after doing the legwork. From what I previously read, the MTA lost $250 million due to partial repeal of the Payroll Mobility Tax.  The governor has replaced this amount in the 2013 budget with $310 million.  

 

However, when you check the 2012  Consolidated Financial Statement on page 109, it states that the subsidy from the Mobility Tax was $1,569 Million; the 2013 Budget shows on Page 24 shows the Payroll Mobility Tax in the amount of $1,248M and 310M in replacement funds for a total of $1,558M which is $11 million less than last year. But it also shows $310.7M in additional MTA aid from the State and another $187.9 in additional state aid. That's a total of $2,056.6 M in state aid for 2013.

 

However, if I want to compare this amount with what was received in 2012 from the State, you can't using the Consolidated 2012 statement. because the state subsidy is lumped with the City subsidy (on page 109) into a single amount of $375.8M. Then there is the "Build American Bonds Subsidy of 96.1M" which is not listed for 2013 and the subsidy from the Urban Tax whatever that is declined from $439.1M to $435.2M between 2012 and 2013

 

So I can't even figure out if the state subsidy increased or decreased between 2012 and 2013. No wonder analysts can't figure out if the amount is $20M or $40M more than the MTA anticipated, and we still don't know how the other $318M or $338M that the MTA supposedly received in additional subsidies were allocated. 

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It has gotten to the point that only the gullible believe anything that the government says today.

 

It should be noted that the governor does not use E-Mail and makes sure that nothing is in writing so that it can come back to haunt him. This way he can speak one way and say something else the next day and get away with it.It also prevents members of the public and others from requesting a copy of the item from the governor's office under the New York State Public Officers Law. # 84 et.seq. (Freedom of Information Law)  I had supervisors like that and whenever we had a meeting or a discussion, I always took notes and when necessary sent a "confirmation of conversation meorandum" which served as a written record as to what was said. The supervisors hated it but it served as a written record if something came up where I needed to provide documentation for any reason.  

 

Welcome to George Orwell's 1984 with doublespeak. When it comes to government, when we master singlespeak, the government starts speaking doublespeak and when we master doublespeak, they speak in triplespeak and on nand on.

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It should be noted that the governor does not use E-Mail and makes sure that nothing is in writing so that it can come back to haunt him. This way he can speak one way and say something else the next day and get away with it.It also prevents members of the public and others from requesting a copy of the item from the governor's office under the New York State Public Officers Law. # 84 et.seq. (Freedom of Information Law)  I had supervisors like that and whenever we had a meeting or a discussion, I always took notes and when necessary sent a "confirmation of conversation meorandum" which served as a written record as to what was said. The supervisors hated it but it served as a written record if something came up where I needed to provide documentation for any reason.

That's what the independent media is for. Blogs and other media will document what the governor has said and done.

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It has gotten to the point that only the gullible believe anything that the government says today.

 

It should be noted that the governor does not use E-Mail and makes sure that nothing is in writing so that it can come back to haunt him. This way he can speak one way and say something else the next day and get away with it.It also prevents members of the public and others from requesting a copy of the item from the governor's office under the New York State Public Officers Law. # 84 et.seq. (Freedom of Information Law) I had supervisors like that and whenever we had a meeting or a discussion, I always took notes and when necessary sent a "confirmation of conversation meorandum" which served as a written record as to what was said. The supervisors hated it but it served as a written record if something came up where I needed to provide documentation for any reason.

 

Welcome to George Orwell's 1984 with doublespeak. When it comes to government, when we master singlespeak, the government starts speaking doublespeak and when we master doublespeak, they speak in triplespeak and on nand on.

I also had the same supervisors and also wrote those documenting memos.

 

On a similar note, I just came back from a screening in a library of "The Battle for Brooklyn", the story of Atlantic Yards and how politics and back room deals gave the store away to Forest City Ratner. Initially, I labeled them NIMBYs and wasn't on their side, but after seeing the documentary, I was converted. These people did everything right by hiring architects to develop an alternate design for the arena that didn't involve condemnation and found a developer who offered three times what Ratner was offering, but the State wouldn't even talk to him. In the end Ratner kept none of his promises for housing and parks, and got the arena he wanted and made over $700 million while the city lost $40 million and the MTAs deficit increased by $80 million because the MTA accepted a down payment of $20 million instead of $100 million.

 

Unfortunately, this is how the world works, but it might be better that all that housing was not built because I don't know how the transportation system coud have absorbed it all. I also saw other plans on the Internet to build high rises on every parking lot in Downtown Brooklyn. Then the city wonders why all the congestion when they make no improvements to the transit system or the roads. Why does every empty space have to be developed here? In Downtown Seattle, half the open space is outdoor parking lots and the streets are not congested.

 

If you get a chance to see or rent this documentary, I highly recommend it. It was very well done.

Edited by BrooklynBus

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Now in response to a commenter on Sheepshead Bites who stated that everything was explained in the 2013 February Financial Plan, this is my response to him:

 

You shouldn't have to do major legwork to get some answers to simple financial questions. There should be a direct link for general financial information and another link to the detailed reports for those desiring more details.

This is what I am able to figure out after doing the legwork. From what I previously read, the MTA lost $250 million due to partial repeal of the Payroll Mobility Tax.  The governor has replaced this amount in the 2013 budget with $310 million.  

 

However, when you check the 2012  Consolidated Financial Statement on page 109, it states that the subsidy from the Mobility Tax was $1,569 Million; the 2013 Budget shows on Page 24 shows the Payroll Mobility Tax in the amount of $1,248M and 310M in replacement funds for a total of $1,558M which is $11 million less than last year. But it also shows $310.7M in additional MTA aid from the State and another $187.9 in additional state aid. That's a total of $2,056.6 M in state aid for 2013.

 

However, if I want to compare this amount with what was received in 2012 from the State, you can't using the Consolidated 2012 statement. because the state subsidy is lumped with the City subsidy (on page 109) into a single amount of $375.8M. Then there is the "Build American Bonds Subsidy of 96.1M" which is not listed for 2013 and the subsidy from the Urban Tax whatever that is declined from $439.1M to $435.2M between 2012 and 2013

 

So I can't even figure out if the state subsidy increased or decreased between 2012 and 2013. No wonder analysts can't figure out if the amount is $20M or $40M more than the MTA anticipated, and we still don't know how the other $318M or $338M that the MTA supposedly received in additional subsidies were allocated. 

 

That's Cuomo for you. This is the same guy who gutted transit out of the Tappan Zee plan and then took down all the documents related to the previous incarnation of the project This is the guy who gutted a unanimously supported "transit lockbox" bill that would've required the State to disclose the effects of its budgetary raids on the MTA. And this is the guy who is, more likely than not, angling for a bigger job out there.

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Makes no sense. Can you expalin how the (MTA) "lost" this money. And where does it all go?

 

 

thats what government does

 

joe

 

Give it a rest. This is the problem with transparency, lol. You give people bureaucratic information that hasn't been massively simplified and they get confused and draw their own conclusion about money being "taken" away. It's a surplus of tax revenue that's combined with a re-allocation of funds by the governor, coming to an overall gain of $20 million. That "$358 million to $20 million" claim is woefully misleading...it's like going to a restaurant, paying $120, leaving $100 for the bill, tipping $20, and then saying 'how'd $120 turn into $20?' The $20 is a piece of the whole, just like the $20 million is a piece of the $358 million. Not that complicated really. The money's not vanishing into thin air.

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Give it a rest. This is the problem with transparency, lol. You give people bureaucratic information that hasn't been massively simplified and they get confused and draw their own conclusion about money being "taken" away. It's a surplus of tax revenue that's combined with a re-allocation of funds by the governor, coming to an overall gain of $20 million. That "$358 million to $20 million" claim is woefully misleading...it's like going to a restaurant, paying $120, leaving $100 for the bill, tipping $20, and then saying 'how'd $120 turn into $20?' The $20 is a piece of the whole, just like the $20 million is a piece of the $358 million. Not that complicated really. The money's not vanishing into thin air.

The problem with transparency is that it doesn't exist. People are not getting confused because the information has been simplified. They get confused because it is confusing. It should not be that difficult to compare the state subsidy from 2012 to 2013. You can't do that when in 2012 it is lumped with the city subsidy into a single number. Your analogy with a restaurant bill makes no sense at all. There is no relationship that can be drawn. If it is not that complicated and the real number is $20 million, why is the MTA calling it $40 million?

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