STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Pay to park on a residential street? Not at the cost of taxpaying car owners, said two Staten Island councilmen.
The Senate is hoping to solve the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) budget woes by charging New York City residents for a permit to park on city streets.
The Senate said the plan, which wasn’t included in Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed state budget or in the Assembly’s counter budget, could potentially generate $400 million annually for the MTA, the New York Post reported.
The MTA’s budget deficit is estimated to be between $1.3 billion and $1.6 billion, according to the report. MTA officials have said they could face a budget shortfall of $3 billion by 2025, spurred in part by a decrease in ridership since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Hochul’s MTA-fix proposal would offer a $1.3 billion bailout for the MTA through a hike in the payroll mobility tax, an extra $500 million in cash from New York City, and a $300 million one-time boost from the state.
The parking permits in the Senate’s proposal would cost New Yorkers $30 annually.
Aside from the price, no other details — such as enforcement or eligibility based on neighborhood — were included in the plan, because those decisions would be up to the City Council should the proposal pass, according to the Post.
The City Council considered parking permits for New York City residents in 2018, however, it never took off because former Mayor Bill de Blasio said Albany would need to authorize the program.
Mid-Island Councilman David Carr told the Advance/SILive.com: “This proposal just charges residents to park in their own neighborhoods. Albany has to stop thinking they can make up the MTA’s fiscal deficits on the backs of the people of Staten Island, Brooklyn, and other outer borough communities. It should be dead on arrival.”
Councilman Joe Borelli (R-South Shore) called the parking permit proposal “a ploy.”
“This is nothing more than a ploy to generate revenue on the backs of middle-class car owners, and it will do nothing to solve parking problems, when it’s the residents’ own cars taking up the spots,” Borelli told the Post.
“There aren’t a lot of cars from Kentucky taking up city spots,” Borelli added.
According to the Post report, City Council Budget Committee Chairman Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn) said the proposal would be “cost-shifting to another tax on transit deserts in the outer boroughs” and added that the parking passes are not the answer to the MTA’s budget issues.