RABBITT BLASTS MTA’S LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY

FROM ASSEMBLYWOMAN ANNIE RABBITT

Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt (R-Greenwood Lake) this past week blasted the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for “extremely poor financial management” in the wake of a new audit conducted by the State Comptroller. It was revealed that the authority sat on $90 million in funds, failed to put together a financial plan, and short-term invested billions in taxpayer funds without a market strategy.

“Here we go again. As taxpayers struggle to make ends meet – including affording the ever-increasing MTA fares – and the governor and legislature are working to control state spending and make our state fiscally solvent, the MTA just disregards reality,” said Rabbitt, who has been a vocal and leading advocate for reforming the MTA, and was a driving force behind the repeal of the MTA payroll tax, having called for a fiscal audit of the authority and its board. “It is an utter disgrace that the MTA is sitting on millions of taxpayer dollars and making investments without any goals or financial plan. I am outraged and believe every taxpayer within the MTA’s 12-county service region will be also upon hearing this news.”

As revealed today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, auditors found that the MTA did a “poor job managing its cash-on-hand, had excess bank accounts and no set targets for short-term investing of billions of dollars.” The audit looked at the much-maligned authority’s cash and investment portfolio from January 1, 2008 through March 31, 2011. The complete audit can be viewed by clicking here: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/093013/09s102.pdf.

Rabbitt said she was looking into the details of the audit, and would be taking action to reform the authority. She said, “While it is prudent to review the details, there really is not much more that we need to know. The MTA is the most mismanaged state authority and I believe that we need to look into the criminal liability of those responsible for mismanaging this multi-billion dollar mess. Taxpayers, employers, schools and local governments have been paying for the negligence of this authority for too long, and we cannot tolerate it any longer. I am pleased the comptroller conducted this audit, but we need to look at criminal sanctions.”

To share your views with Assemblywoman Rabbitt, email her at rabbitta@assembly.state.ny.us or find her on Facebook.