Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C–Brooklyn, Staten Island) recently spoke with MTA Chairman Jay Walder at the transportation budget hearing in Albany. The assemblywoman cited the increase in costs to commuters, coupled with the decrease in services for those in Brooklyn and Staten Island, as evidence that reforms within the MTA are needed immediately.

“The MTA’s pattern of slashing services while increasing prices has gone on for far too long,” said Malliotakis. “Last year, my constituents saw increases in fares and additional MTA fees on driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations, all while the Verrazano bridge toll rose to $13, the highest rate in the nation. Despite consistently being asked to shell out more of their hard-earned money, my district still saw eight bus lines either cut or completely eliminated.”

Also among Malliotakis’ top concerns was the MTA payroll tax, which places an additional financial burden on small business owners that drive employment within the community. The assemblywoman explained the devastating impact this levy has on the job creators that protect the health of New York’s economy.

“We are penalizing employers for creating jobs in order to bail out a mismanaged state agency,” said Malliotakis. “This is exactly the sort of regressive policy that is driving families and businesses out of our community. Rather than forcing taxpayers to foot the bill, we need to focus on creating efficiencies and common-sense reforms within the MTA that will provide better services for less cost.”