New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli issued the following statement today on the MTA’s February Financial Plan:
“The MTA’s February Financial Plan underlines the seriousness of the situation the authority – and the state and city – face in dealing with upcoming fiscal challenges. The plan acknowledges that each of the next three years will be balanced with the use of one-time federal relief and most concerningly, in 2025, with deficit financing. The idea that it will be years before the MTA needs to find a solution to its structural imbalance is troubling.
“Better-than-expected tax revenues will allow one-time federal aid to be stretched further and reduce expected reliance on deficit financing during the financial plan. Despite this, the plan still relies on an average of $1.8 billion in one-time funds used annually through 2025, clouding a structural budgetary imbalance that will remain even after federal aid is exhausted.
“The gaps that will be laid bare in 2026, expected to exceed $2 billion according to today’s discussion, remain even if the MTA succeeds in implementing its current plan of raising fares in 2023 and 2025, and $150 million in annual savings generated from its transformation plan. The MTA must regularly report on the progress of these initiatives, the receipt of federal aid, risks and its response when initiatives are trailing expectations.
“While continued economic uncertainty will create volatility in the MTA’s fiscal rebound, information on the trajectory of ridership’s return and its impact on MTA finances should be regularly reported and discussed so the MTA and its board understand how they can move forward while minimizing the impact on riders’ safety and improving the reliability of the system.”