The letter was signed by Marsha Gordon, President and CEO, 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 the city, 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 country’s population and 6% of the country’s 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 using all of the $ 3.9 billion in funding it had received in April under the federal Cares Act and a lack of revenue due to the drastic drop in the goodwill created a situation of insolvency for the agency.
“If we don’t get federal help, and the leadership of the Republican Senate really falls on the leadership of the Republican Senate to come up with this bill and move that funding, we may have to cut metro service and 40% bus reduction and lay off around 7,400 employees and [have] Until [a] 50% reduction in service on Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road, ”MTA President Patrick J. Foye said on Monday.
The possibility of large and significant service cuts would cause enormous damage to the city’s economy, according to transportation experts. 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 if it does not receive the $ 12 billion from the federal government. His limited choices include going to the Federal Reserve and financing its operations with debt – a risky procedure that would see interest payments eat into future operating budgets – and potentially generate income through the sale of land and air rights across the city.
This is the second letter from the New York business community to a senior official last week. 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 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 another attempt to force Washington to return to the table, this time directly appealing to Trump’s role as a businessman before taking office. He addresses 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.