The letter was signed by Marsha Gordon, President and CEO, The Business Council of Westchester; Kevin Law, President and CEO, Long Island Association; and Kathryn Wylde of the New York City Partnership.
There are good reasons for these three business leaders to group their interests under one heading. The letter notes that New York, Long Island and Westchester together represent 63% of the population of New York State and 75% of the state’s gross domestic product; combined, they represent 4% of the nation’s population and 6% of US GDP.
“As a businessman yourself, you understand that higher public safety leads to more private investment and business expansion, and that a lower crime rate is an asset to the community. economic development. And so, if state and local governments lay off employees and cut back on services, it will negatively impact our economy and national recovery, ”the group said in the letter.
Monday’s letter calls the region of upstate New York as the nation’s largest economic region.
“The MTA service region, which accounts for 10% of the country’s economic output, is the cornerstone of this economic vitality, ”the letter said. “Without federal help, it will further devastate businesses that depend on public transit and also hamper the national economic recovery.”
The MTA has asked the federal government for $ 12 billion to fund operations for this year and next. The agency said it had used up all of the $ 3.9 billion in funding it received in April under the federal CARES Act and that a lack of revenue due to a drastic drop in the goodwill created a situation of insolvency for the agency.
“If we don’t get federal help, and it really falls to the leadership of the Republican Senate to come forward with this bill and move that funding, we may have to cut metro and bus service to at 40% and lay off about 7,400 employees and up to 50% reduction in service on Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road, ”MTA President Patrick J. Foye said Monday.
The possibility of large and significant service cuts would cause enormous damage to the city’s economy, transportation experts say. Last month the Riders Alliance published a study which showed the New York subway map with half of its subway lines eliminated.
The MTA faces a narrow path to tax recovery in the event that it does not receive the $ 12 billion from the federal government. Their limited choices include going to the Federal Reserve and financing their operations with debt – a risky procedure that would see interest payments eat into future operating budgets – and eventually generate income through the sale of land and land. air rights throughout the city.
This is the second letter from the New York-based company last week to a senior official. Last week, more than 150 CEOs signed a scathing letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, citing reasons for a lack of confidence in the city’s current leadership.
The Senate vote on a Republican-designed $ 1 trillion stimulus package failed last week without the necessary Democratic backing. The terms of this federal assistance program did not provide for any federal funding for public transit or local governments.
Monday’s letter appears to be yet another attempt to force Washington to return to the table, this time directly appealing to President Trump’s role as a businessman before taking office, at some point in time. addressing the president as “a businessman yourself”, before making a point.
“As business organizations representing our regional economy, we urge you to come to the aid of our business community and lead Congress to an agreement that paves the way for this needed funding,” the letter concludes.