ALBANY—David Paterson has no sympathy for M.T.A. head Jay Walder, who next week must figure out how to deal with a $343 million end-of-year deficit.
Paterson was asked during the signing of a bill to increase oversight of public authorities—including the M.T.A.—if he had any message for Walder, especially because Paterson took $143 million from the authority as he bridged a mid-year budget deficit.
“We reverted to any and all ways to try to reduce deficit. I don’t have a message for the M.T.A. chair,” Paterson said. “He is under the same unfortunate constriction that I am, which is that revenues are down, projected revenues are less than what they were supposed to be, and therefore in order to save the financial stability of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, he will make whatever decisions he feels are appropriate, along and in consultation with the M.T.A. board. I will withhold at the end of this month to make sure that the state doesn’t run out of cash and meets all its obligations at the end of the year.”
State officials this spring agreed to a massive bailout for the authority, including a tax of 34 cents on every $100 of payroll in the 12-county M.T.A. service region. That tax is generating less revenue than projected.