Fiscally challenged New York has come through with some subsidies for the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority, officials said Monday.
The subsidies were one piece of a mixed revenue picture presented by the authority at its monthly finance committee meeting.
Though state Division of Budget officials had told the MTA last month it would not receive certain subsidies until a budget was passed, lawmakers appropriated $153.5 million of subsidies for the agency in the most recent emergency appropriation bill enacted to keep the state running in the absence of a budget.
“I don’t know if we’ve received that money yet, but the appropriations have been made and so that’s encouraging,” said MTA chief financial officer Robert Foran. “If we have a budget that continues to be delayed, at some point we’ll have to go through and make plans accordingly.”
Last month the MTA said it could resort to a short-term borrowing after the state withheld $275 million of subsidy payments. Foran said that was still one option that could be considered.
“It’s always a possibility,” he said. “The longer the state’s budget is delayed, the more our cash flow is impacted.”
Fare and toll revenues have been a bright spot for the authority this year and if trends continue, that could result in those revenues being $70 million above budget for the year, MTA staff said.
On the downside, a payroll tax enacted last year as part of a bailout package continues to fall short of estimates that have already been revised downward.
The authority received $53.4 million this month from the payroll mobility tax, $13.5 million below revised projections. Year to date, that tax has come in at $754.8 million, $56.3 million lower than the updated forecast. Dedicated real estate taxes have also underperformed.
The committee unanimously approved Swap Financial Group LLC to become its derivatives adviser after renegotiating the fee structure.
The revised contract sets the hourly rate at $200 to $450 with a monthly retainer of $4,500 in the first year, rising to $5,000 thereafter.
The contract was revised after one board member objected to proposed hourly rates that were higher.
The contract goes to the board on Wednesday.
A deal worked out with the state Legislature last week to partially fund a free and discounted student fare program also included an increase to the MTA’s statutory debt issuance ceiling.
The agency was authorized to issue up to $28.88 billion of bonds for projects through the 2005-2009 capital program. That was increased by $6 billion for the 2010 to 2014 capital program.
The MTA plans to be in the market next week with a $600 million deal on its transportation revenue bond credit.