This bill has been amended

Bill S1988-2013

Relates to the election by certain counties to withdraw from the metropolitan commuter transportation district; and permits the county of Putnam to make such election

Relates to the election by certain counties to withdraw from the metropolitan commuter transportation district; and permits the county of Putnam to make such election.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO TRANSPORTATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1988

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public authorities law, in relation to the election by certain counties to withdraw from the metropolitan commuter transportation district; and in relation to permitting the county of Putnam to make such election

PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to provide Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Rockland counties the option to withdraw from the metropolitan commuter transportation district.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The bill amends section 1279-b of the public authorities law to include Putnam County among the counties that have the option to withdraw from the metropolitan commuter transportation district.

The county seeking to withdraw shall provide the commissioner of transportation, and chairman of the authority and the other counties which have an option to withdraw, a resolution adopted by the county legislature providing notice of intent to withdraw and furnish a public transportation plan.

The "public transportation plan" shall include an agreement where the county shall be entitled to lease facilities and services comprising such rail transportation system at fair market value which provides for negotiations for withdrawal from the metropolitan commuter transportation district.

If no agreement is reached after sixty days from the commencement of such negotiations, either party may make application to a justice of the supreme court residing in the counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Rockland for an appointment of a special referee.

The special referee shall mediate negotiations for withdrawal for a period of no longer than sixty days. If after the sixty day period the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the special referee shall, within thirty days, recommend the terms of the withdrawal to the justice, who shall review the recommendations of the referee and the positions of the parties thereon and shall issue an order setting forth the terms of the withdrawal.

The authority shall make payment to the county that withdraws for the difference in the amount of services received from the authority and monies paid by the county to the authority, this payment shall be extrapolated over the previous five years from the date of withdrawal.

JUSTIFICATION: At a time when local taxpayers are at the breaking point of trying to pay their ever increasing property taxes, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bill was chaptered into law on May 7, 2009, and imposed a plan that would raise taxes, fees and fares to bailout the MTA. The majority of the revenues ($1.5 billion) generated from

this plan would come from a payroll tax among the counties served by the MTA.

Under the payroll tax, public, private and not-for-profit employers in the MTA region must contribute $0.34 on every $100 of payroll. Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Rockland Counties will be forced to contribute over $60 million in a payroll tax and over $30 million in increase fees on licenses, permits and registrations.

According to figures provided by the MTA, county taxpayers in Dutchess, Orange, Rockland and Putnam already collectively contribute tens of millions of dollars to support the MTA for a service that is used regularly by a relatively small number of individuals.

To add insult to injury, each of these four counties is only permitted one-quarter vote which amounts to only one vote for Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Rockland counties.

Under this bill, the counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam and Rockland would have the option to withdraw from the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District by an agreed transportation plan, approved by the commissioner of transportation, or by negotiating in good faith any agreement after the public transportation plan prepared by any such county is approved by the commissioner of transportation.

Given the tremendous fiscal burden placed on these four counties to support a transit system that is not used by the vast majority of their residents, it is imperative that these counties have a mechanism to be released from the transportation district-which has long held them fiscal hostage.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-2012 - S.5278 - Referred to Transportation

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: This bill would result in a cost savings to be determined after such county or counties reach an agreed upon public transportation plan.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1988 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation to the election by certain counties to withdraw from the metropolitan commuter trans- portation district; and in relation to permitting the county of Putnam to make such election THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 1279-b of the public authorities law, as added by chapter 669 of the laws of 1986, the opening paragraph of subdivision 1, the opening paragraph of paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 and subdivisions 3 and 5 as amended by chapter 670 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as follows: S 1279-b. Transition--election to withdraw from the metropolitan commuter transportation district. 1. The counties of Dutchess, Orange, PUTNAM and Rockland shall have an option to withdraw from the metropol- itan commuter transportation district and have such withdrawal take effect on either: (a) [January] APRIL first, [nineteen hundred eighty- seven] TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN. If any such county plans to withdraw from the district on [January] APRIL first, [nineteen hundred eighty-seven] TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, it shall (i) no later than seventy-five days after the effective date of this section, furnish the commissioner of trans- portation, and chairman of the authority and the other counties which have an option to withdraw, a resolution adopted by the county legisla- ture providing notice of intent to withdraw, (ii) on or before [October] JANUARY first, [nineteen hundred eighty-six] TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN, furnish to the commissioner of transportation, the chairman of the authority and other counties which have an option to withdraw, a resol- ution adopted by the county legislature providing for a public transpor- tation plan. For the purposes of this section, a "public transportation
plan" shall mean a plan that maintains adequate and continuous public transportation services from the withdrawing county to the city of New York or any terminus previously served, provides a reasonable level of rail passenger service, provides a schedule for implementing such service, protects the public investment in the rail transportation system and any other criteria deemed necessary by the commissioner of transportation. SUCH PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION PLAN SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, AN AGREEMENT BY WHICH SUCH COUNTY SHALL BE ENTITLED TO LEASE THE FACILITIES AND SERVICES COMPRISING SUCH RAIL TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM AT FAIR MARKET VALUE AND UNDER SUCH TERMS AND CONDITIONS TO BE DETERMINED AS SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION SIX OF THIS SECTION. Prior to withdrawal pursuant to this paragraph or paragraph (b) of this subdivi- sion, a county must receive approval of its public transportation plan pursuant to paragraph (c) of this subdivision, (iii) on or before Decem- ber fifteenth, [nineteen hundred eighty-six] TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN, furnish the commissioner of transportation, a copy of an agreement with the authority or an operator of rail passenger service for the provision of rail passenger service to and from such county and the city of New York or any terminus previously served. IF SUCH AGREEMENT HAS NOT BEEN CONCLUDED BY THE RESPECTIVE PARTIES, AND A PARTY HAS EXERCISED ITS RIGHTS PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION SIX OF THIS SECTION, THE APPROVAL OF THE COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED AND THE AGREEMENT OR ORDER SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION SIX OF THIS SECTION, SHALL DETERMINE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SUCH WITHDRAWAL. If a county planning to withdraw on [January] APRIL first, [nineteen hundred eighty-seven] TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN is unable to withdraw because it could not meet the requirements of this paragraph, it may elect to withdraw pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subdivision hereafter. (b) January first, [nineteen hundred eighty-eight] TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN or January first, [nineteen hundred eighty-nine] TWO THOUSAND SEVENTEEN. If any such county plans to withdraw on either January first, [nineteen hundred eighty-eight] TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN or January first, [nineteen hundred eighty-nine] TWO THOUSAND SEVENTEEN, it shall (i) no later than ninety days after the first of January of the year immediately preceding the year in which such county plans to withdraw from the district, furnish the commissioner of transportation, the chairman of the authority and the other counties which have an option to withdraw, a resolution adopted by the county legislature providing notice of intent to withdraw from the district, (ii) no later than one hundred twenty days after the first of January of the year immediately preceding the year in which such county plans to withdraw from the district furnish to the commissioner of transportation, the chairman of the authority and the counties which have an option to withdraw a resol- ution adopted by the county legislature providing a public transporta- tion plan as described in this section, (iii) on or before October first of the year immediately preceding the year in which such county plans to withdraw from the district, furnish to the commissioner a copy of an agreement with the authority or an operator of rail passenger service for the provision of rail passenger service to and from such county and the city of New York or any terminus previously served. IF SUCH AGREE- MENT HAS NOT BEEN CONCLUDED BY THE RESPECTIVE PARTIES, AND A PARTY HAS EXERCISED ITS RIGHTS PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION SIX OF THIS SECTION, THE APPROVAL OF THE COMMISSIONER OF TRANSPORTATION SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED AND THE AGREEMENT OR ORDER SET FORTH IN SUCH SUBDIVISION SIX SHALL DETERMINE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SUCH WITHDRAWAL.
(c) No later than thirty days after receipt of the public transporta- tion plan the commissioner of transportation shall, in writing, either approve such plan as conforming with the requirements heretofore described or disapprove such plan as failing to meet such requirements and the reasons therefor. Disapproval of a plan shall not prohibit a county from resubmitting a public transportation plan and such resubmit- ted plan shall be approved or disapproved no later than fifteen days after receipt by the commissioner of transportation. The public trans- portation plan shall be subject to any state or federal public hearing requirements which the authority would be subject to if the authority made the changes proposed by such plan. (d) Any such county which plans to withdraw from the district must meet the requirements of this section prior to the effective date of withdrawal, and no withdrawal for the purposes of this section shall take effect unless such county furnishes the resolutions and agreement prior to the effective date of withdrawal. 2. The authority and any subsidiary corporation of the authority shall enter into an agreement or agreements with a county that plans to with- draw from the district to transfer and assign to such county all author- ity and subsidiary railroad facilities and operations, rights and obli- gations, and contract rights and obligations, including operating contract rights and obligations, which are owned, operated, maintained or used directly or by contract or which are otherwise involved in the provision of railroad services to such counties. Such agreement shall provide, in the event a facility, operation, right or obligation is necessary and material to the provision of rail passenger service in the district or is not assignable under applicable bond covenants or contracts or the parties agree that it should not be assigned, that the authority or subsidiary thereof shall continue to hold and be responsi- ble for such facility, operation, right or obligation and that such county shall reimburse to the authority that portion of the cost to the authority or subsidiary of its retention of such facility, operation, right or obligation that is allocable [to] WITHIN such county. If the parties agree that the authority or subsidiary thereof shall operate the railroad facilities in a county after the effective date of such coun- ty's withdrawal, the agreement also shall provide for the terms and conditions of the operation of such service. 3. Within forty-five days of the effective date of this section, the authority and any subsidiary corporation of the authority shall provide to the counties of Dutchess, Orange, PUTNAM and Rockland a written statement, including cost estimates and the useful life, if any, of all of its facilities, operations, rights and obligations relating to the provision of rail service in such counties. 4. The authority and any subsidiary corporation of the authority is authorized to enter into an agreement or agreements with a county that plans to withdraw from the district, pursuant to which the authority or subsidiary thereof will provide technical assistance to such county prior to, during and after the withdrawal, with respect to the transfer of ownership, operation, maintenance and use of railroad facilities within such county. Such agreement may provide that the county reimburse the authority or its subsidiary for the cost to the authority and its subsidiary for the provision of such technical assistance. 5. The authority shall have no obligation to undertake or continue any project or part thereof in a current or future capital program plan which pertains to railroad facilities within or services to a county that withdraws from the district on or after such date of withdrawal nor
shall the authority enter into any contract for a project or part there- of which would increase liabilities pursuant to subdivision [six] SIX-A of this section in a county after such county notifies the authority of its intent to withdraw as provided in subdivision one of this section, provided, however, that if the authority has executed a contract for the effectuation of a project or part thereof in a capital program plan in such county, it shall be assigned to such county in accordance with subdivision two of this section, unless the parties agree that it shall not be assigned and that the authority or its subsidiary shall continue to be responsible therefor, in which event the county shall reimburse the authority or its subsidiary in accordance with the provisions of subdivision two of this section. 6. SHOULD THE COUNTIES OF DUTCHESS, ORANGE, PUTNAM OR ROCKLAND SEEK TO WITHDRAW FROM THE DISTRICT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, ANY SUCH COUNTY AND THE AUTHORITY, AND/OR, IF APPROPRIATE ANY SUBSIDIARY CORPORATION OF THE AUTHORITY SHALL NEGOTIATE IN GOOD FAITH ANY AGREEMENT REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION FOR WITHDRAWAL FROM THE DISTRICT. SUCH NEGOTIATIONS SHALL COMMENCE NOT LATER THAN FIFTEEN DAYS AFTER THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION PLAN PREPARED BY ANY SUCH COUNTY HAS BEEN SUBMITTED BY SUCH COUNTY TO THE AUTHORITY, AND/OR, IF APPROPRIATE, A SUBSIDIARY AUTHORITY. IN NO EVENT SHALL A COUNTY BE REQUIRED TO NEGOTIATE WITH BOTH THE AUTHORITY AND A SUBSIDIARY AUTHORITY. THE NEGOTIATIONS CONDUCTED BY AND THE ACTIONS OF THE AUTHORITY OR SUBSIDIARY AUTHORITY SHALL BE BINDING. IF AFTER SIXTY DAYS FROM THE COMMENCEMENT OF SUCH NEGOTIATIONS OR AT ANY TIME THEREAFTER THE AUTHORITY OR ANY SUBSIDIARY CORPORATION OF THE AUTHORITY AND A COUNTY ARE UNABLE TO REACH AN AGREEMENT REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION FOR SUCH WITHDRAWAL, EITHER PARTY MAY MAKE APPLICATION TO A JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT PRESIDING IN THE COUNTIES OF DUTCHESS, ORANGE, PUTNAM OR ROCKLAND FOR APPOINTMENT OF A SPECIAL REFEREE. EACH PARTY SHALL SUBMIT TO THE JUSTICE A LIST CONTAINING THE NAMES AND QUALI- FICATIONS OF FIVE PERSONS TO SERVE AS SPECIAL REFEREE. THE JUSTICE SHALL SELECT ONE PERSON FROM AMONG THE NAMES SUBMITTED BY THE PARTIES TO SERVE AS SPECIAL REFEREE. THE SPECIAL REFEREE SHALL MEDIATE THE NEGOTIATIONS FOR WITHDRAWAL FOR A PERIOD OF NO LONGER THAN SIXTY DAYS. IF, AT THE END OF SAID SIXTY DAY PERIOD, THE PARTIES ARE NOT ABLE TO REACH AGREEMENT, THE SPECIAL REFEREE SHALL, WITHIN THIRTY DAYS THEREAFTER, RECOMMEND THE TERMS OF THE WITHDRAWAL TO THE JUSTICE. THE JUSTICE SHALL REVIEW THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE REFEREE AND THE POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES THEREON AND SHALL ISSUE AN ORDER SETTING FORTH THE TERMS OF THE WITHDRAWAL. NOTWITHSTANDING THE ENTRY OF SUCH ORDER, A COUNTY SHALL HAVE FIFTEEN DAYS FROM THE ENTRY OF SUCH ORDER TO TERMINATE SUCH PROCEEDING. UPON THE TIMELY EXERCISE OF SUCH RIGHT TO TERMINATE, SUCH PROCEEDING SHALL BE DEEMED NULL AND VOID AND OF NO FURTHER EFFECT. IF A COUNTY HAS NOT EXER- CISED ITS RIGHT TO TERMINATE, SAID ORDER SHALL BE SUBJECT TO APPELLATE REVIEW IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES, PROVIDED THAT ANY APPEAL FROM THE ORDER SHALL BE GRANTED EXPEDITED STATUS. 6-A. Any county which withdraws from the district shall reimburse to the authority or its subsidiary, within the time period agreed to by the parties, any capital expenditures heretofore undertaken by the authority or its subsidiary for railroad facilities only within such county which were financed by commuter railroad revenue bonds issued by the metropol- itan transportation authority pursuant to section twelve hundred sixty- nine of this [article] TITLE and are assigned to such county in accord- ance with the provisions of subdivision two of this section. [7.] 6-B. The obligations of a county that withdraws from the district to reimburse the authority and any subsidiary corporation of the author-
ity for the costs of operation, maintenance and use of passenger stations pursuant to section twelve hundred seventy-seven of this [arti- cle] TITLE, shall continue for any such costs incurred up to the effec- tive date of the county's withdrawal from the district and for costs incurred thereafter that result from acts preceding such withdrawal, and the applicability of the payment provisions and procedures of such section twelve hundred seventy-seven to such county shall continue ther- eafter with respect to the aforesaid costs. [8.] 7. In the event of a county's failure to make payment of any monies determined by the authority to be owed and due it or any subsid- iary corporation of the authority pursuant to the terms of any agreement entered into pursuant to this section, the authority is authorized to recover such payments in the same manner as in section twelve hundred seventy-seven of this [article] TITLE and the state comptroller shall withhold and pay monies to the authority in accordance with the proce- dures set forth in that section. 8. THE AUTHORITY SHALL MAKE PAYMENT TO THE COUNTY THAT WITHDRAWS FOR THE DIFFERENCE IN THE AMOUNT OF SERVICES RECEIVED FROM THE AUTHORITY AND MONIES PAID BY THE COUNTY TO THE AUTHORITY, THIS PAYMENT SHALL BE EXTRAPOLATED OVER THE PREVIOUS FIVE YEARS FROM THE DATE OF WITHDRAWAL. IF THE AUTHORITY FAILS TO MAKE SUCH PAYMENT TO THE COUNTY, THE AMOUNT OWED SHALL BE WITHHELD BY THE STATE COMPTROLLER FROM THE AUTHORITY AND THE MONIES SHALL BE PAID TO THE COUNTY. 9. The term of office of any resident of a county that withdraws from the district under this section, as a member of the board of the author- ity, the Metro-North rail commuter council or the management advisory board, which is based upon residence in such county, shall terminate upon the county's withdrawal and the office shall be deemed vacant and filled in the manner provided by law. 10. The provisions of this section and all agreements undertaken in accordance herewith shall be subject to the rights of the holders of any outstanding bonds or notes issued by the authority. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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