With the clock ticking toward its new fiscal year, the NFTA continues to study how to close a reported $5 million budget gap, something that, by law, it is required to do.
Democratic State Assemblyman Sean Ryan of Buffalo is proposing ways to help the Authority get over the hump, not only now, but over the long term.
To accomplish that, Ryan is willing to ruffle some feathers. One way to do that, he said, would be to suspend the mortgage tax waived by Erie County IDAs a few years ago.
Those revenues were destined for NFTA operations.
Ryan says the Authority could really use the more than $1.3 million now.
"Since 1990, Erie County has been contributing money to the NFTA directly," Ryan said.
"We agreed in 1990 that a portion of our sales tax will go directly to the NFTA for bus and rail service. Funds are being used to fund the buses in Erie County but also in Niagara County. So, I'm calling on the Niagara County Legislature to adopt a position where they would fund a proportional share of the bus services that are being provided to the people of Niagara County." Ryan has conveyed his concerns and his suggestion in a letter to William Ross, the Chair of the Niagara County Legislature.