ALBANY—Legislators in both the Assembly and Senate are behind closed doors going over the details of a compromise proposal to bail out the M.T.A., and are considering modifications that would raise roughly $1.9 billion, according to one source familiar with the negotiations.
The framework appears to be the bill advanced by the State Senate. The proposal on the table would eliminate the graduation of a payroll tax, and charge a flat 34 cents-per-hundred dollars of payroll in all of the 12 counties served by the M.T.A. That tax, first proposed by Richard Ravitch, would raise $1.53 billion. A proposed surcharge on taxicabs will be halved to 50 cents, raising $95 million. Assorted fees on vehicles and drivers licenses will raise $175.5 million.
Additionally, the proposed eight percent fare increase would rise to 10 percent on fares other than the single-ride Metrocard, the source said. That provision would raise another $100 million, bringing the total to $1.9 billion; enough to cover the authority's operating deficit but only enough for a small investment in capital needs. Lawmakers expect to deal with the capital budget later this year.
Walking into his conference, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was asked if he had reached a deal with David Paterson and Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith.
"We may, it's subject to the scope of the conference," he said.
Silver and Paterson had hoped to provide $2 billion and provide more capital funding.