« FCR, according to Wall Street Journal, has gotten $249M commitment in EB-5 funds; video of project pitch shows more lies, Markowitz mugging for camera | Main | 'Not Your Cleaning Lady's Green Card Program:' $500K Visas Finance U.S. Construction »

February 2, 2011

Atlantic Yards Yes! Everything else No!!

While the new Governor's budget takes huge bites out of just about everything else, it appears to preserve the status-Cuomo for Brooklyn's biggest boondoggle. Money well spent, Bruce Ratner!

The New York Times, With Cuts, Cuomo Offers Shrunken Budget

Declaring New York State “functionally bankrupt,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed a $132.9 billion budget on Tuesday that would reduce year-to-year spending for the first time in more than a decade, slash projected spending on education and health care, and slice the budget for state agencies by more than half a billion dollars in the next fiscal year.

Planned spending on Medicaid programs and local school aid would each be cut by $2.85 billion, closing roughly half of a budget gap now estimated at $10 billion, one of the largest in recent history. The likely loss of federal matching funds would roughly double the Medicaid cut, bringing spending down in those programs by about $3 billion more.

2nd Ave. Sagas, Cuomo removes $100M in dedicated transit dollars

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has, as feared, removed $100 million in dedicated funding from the MTA’s budget as part of his effort to close a state spending gap that reaches the billions. For the authority, this is the second year in a row that the state’s chief executive has stripped money intended for downstate transit, and while the MTA says it will not raise fares this year, history is not on the agency’s side.

Basically, the net losses to the MTA will be $100 million overall but such a relatively slim cut was accomplished only through an accounting sleight-of-hand. Essentially, Cuomo is removing $200 million in dedicated operating funds and granted the MTA’s capital fund — with its $10 billion gap — a meager $100 million in economic development money. The loss to the operating side far outpaces the $143 million Gov. David Paterson removed from the budget in late 2009.

NoLandGrab: "Dedicated funding" means that money is specifically allocated to transit, yet the Governor and the Legislature have again managed to pick the lock. The one lock-box that's safecracker-proof, however, appears to be the one around state handouts for Atlantic Yards.

The MTA hasn't helped matters, of course, by selling Bruce Ratner the Vanderbilt Yard for far less than its appraised value, and then allowing Ratner sweetened terms for paying off the sweetheart deal.

Posted by eric at February 2, 2011 11:38 AM