Governor Pataki outlined his 2005 budget yesterday in Albany, and, to no one's surprise, though to many's disappointment, many NYC transit projects are on the brink, including the Second Avenue Subway and L.I.R.R. connection at Grand Central. The state's huge budget problems have taken a toll on the ambitious plans, once vigorously championed by the Governor; the Second Avenue Subway was to have a completed first segment by 2011, but now financing might not take place until 2020! And while the governor says various taxes and fees from toll hikes will go to mass transit, the MTA is getting $19 billion, $8 billion less than they had requested, which may mean another fare hike.
Other things to note about the budget:
- There will be a higher excise tax on wine
- The tax on clothing and shoes under $110 will be extended (it was supposed to end May 31)
- NYC got very little; for example, our schools will get $280 million, not that $1+ billion the courts recommended
Gothamist has to say this: Governor Pataki, we hope 2006 is your last year in office. This may be because you've hit the third-term wall, but it's really not helpful. There's nothing in your budget or actions that makes us think you're that interested in the needs of the city; you like being here for photo ops, but that's about it. [Related: It seems the Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has around $8 million in election funds for his bid to be Governor; this is about three times what Pataki has.]