Paterson floats new MTA bailout plan

By Philip Newman

Discussions are reportedly going on in Albany on Gov. David Paterson’s New York City transit bailout plan, which includes a 12-county payroll tax.

Legislative sources said Paterson has suggested that the plan include reimbursement for school districts that would pay the tax.

Paterson and legislative leaders have yet to speak publicly about the proposal.

The payroll plan is a principal part of the MTA rescue plan put forth by Senate Democrats in the state Legislature, although some have objected to the plan, which they said might hurt school districts.

Meanwhile, the MTA announced at its monthly board meeting Wednesday that  it was planning a second round of service reductions in case no legislative rescue is forthcoming.  The beleaguered agency’s deficit is widening due to lower revenues from real estate holdings and a drop in travel on its subways, buses and railroads as well as bridges.

The transit agency has begun sending out notices to hundreds of MTA employees advising them of layoffs unless the MTA gets financial help from Albany.

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