ALBANY — A potential plan to help fund the cash-strapped MTA would forgo tolling on the East River bridges, Gov. Cuomo said Monday.
Instead, the Fix New York City panel he created is expected to propose placing toll-collecting devices in a high-congestion zone in Manhattan, Cuomo said.
“We have the ability with technology to put tolling anywhere in the city, it’s not just at the bridges,” Cuomo said. “So we can be very flexible and variable.”
Cuomo was expected to include a congestion pricing plan in his proposed 2018-19 budget that he is due to unveil Tuesday. He said while he’ll talk about the issue, the meat of the proposal will come later in the week when the Fix New York City panel releases its report.
Cuomo said the goal is to come up with a long-term funding stream to pay for needed system upgrades while also reducing congestion on city streets.
According to sources, Cuomo’s panel will suggest a cordoned-off zone south of 60th St. that would allow drivers going over the Brooklyn Bridge to avoid the toll if they take the FDR Drive to Harlem.
The panel will also recommend imposing fees on taxi and for-hire vehicle trips and whether to change the congestion pricing depending on the time of day, the sources said.
Congestion pricing faces an uphill climb in the Legislature, which killed a different plan when Michael Bloomberg was mayor.
In introducing his spending plan, Cuomo for the first time will detail how he proposes closing a multibillion-dollar state deficit in the roughly $160 billion budget.
The plan is also expected to include his proposed response to the federal tax act he has spent months railing against.
Cuomo has said he is considering a statewide payroll tax to replace the state income tax employees pay. He’s also talked about creating charitable foundations to which people can donate to help fund state government. Donors would get a state tax credit and would be able to deduct the donation on their federal returns.
Since taking office, Cuomo has capped state spending increases at 2% each year.
The new budget is expected to continue the trend, though fiscal watchdogs want to see if he offloads spending, including shifting costs onto New York City.