Get the Facts
New York has an infrastructure crisis.
However, with Governor Cuomo set to provide $8.3 billion in additional funding to the MTA – money that is sorely needed, it’s time for New York to step up and fund New York’s deteriorating road and bridge system. Below are a few facts that may help you better understand the issue.
What is Rebuild NY Now looking to accomplish in the current campaign?
Rebuild New York now seeks to raise public awareness about New York’s infrastructure needs. Specifically, the current campaign seeks to ensure that a return to parity is restored between MTA funding levels and road and bridge funding.
What is parity?
A return to parity means a return to general equality and fairness between the funding levels for the MTA and DOT capital plans.
Why and when did roads and bridges lose funding levels compared to mass transit?
For decades, both mass transit and roads and bridges saw equitable funding levels for their respective 5-year capital plans. However, in 2009-2010 after a change in the political and geographical leadership in the Legislature, parity between the MTA and DOT plans were eliminated and the MTA funding greatly outpaced DOT.
What is the difference between the DOT and MTA funding levels?
Currently the MTA receives $5 billion more for their capital plan than the DOT. In addition, the DOT has not received a fully funded 5-year capital plan in many years (which is generally how the money is budgeted), while the MTA always receives a 5-year plan.
Do drivers support the MTA?
Yes. Every time drivers fill up at the gas pump a portion of the gas tax is used to support the MTA and other statewide transit and airport projects.
Why would New York State allow gas tax dollars to support the MTA when our road and bridge system is failing?
When the New York State Legislature and Governor, decades ago, agreed to use part of gas tax revenue to fund the MTA they did so with an understanding that the agreement would pose a way to ensure the MTA and DOT capital programs were funded proportionally equal, regardless of geographic difference. It was a way to find a solution for the entire state.
How can parity now be restored?
With Governor Cuomo having recently announced an agreement for the state to help fund the next 5-year MTA capital plan to the tune of $8.3 billion he can now turn his attention to the DOT and to make a substantial and proportionately fair investment. While parity does not necessarily mean dollar-for-dollar funding, it means restoring an equitable level between the two programs to ensure that our entire transportation infrastructure is repaired and brought into good working order.
What “number” does Rebuild NY Now believe the MTA and DOT should be funded at and would that restore parity?
The MTA’s Capital Program Review Board is set to review and approve a $26.1 billion plan based on the needs report that was release. While DOT has not issued a needs plan in the past five years their last plan showed the needs at $25.8 billion – a funding level which was NOT met and has allowed conditions to worsen. Therefore a realistic and conservative “number” to meet the needs would be $26.1 billion for DOT, which would also restore and ensure parity with the MTA.
Is the Gas tax being used properly?
No. New York drivers pay nearly $5 billion in taxes towards the Dedicated Highway and Bridge Trust Fund (DHBTF), yet only about $2 billion are deposited into the DHBTF account. This is not only a misuse of public money but has significantly contributed to the deterioration of our infrastructure. Part of any solution must be to reform the DHBTF to ensure the money taxpayers pay is actually spent on its intended purpose.
Join us to demand action now.