Today’s news about criminal charges against five current and former MTA employees for alleged overtime fraud is a reminder that New Yorkers deserve to know how government spends every dollar. This investigation likely would have never happened if the Empire Center hadn’t blown the whistle on the MTA’s overtime spending in April 2019. In fact, three of the five individuals named in the criminal complaint were highlighted in previous Empire Center publications. The Empire Center has sued the MTA twice since 2015 to make sure payroll information gets disclosed to the public, most recently to preserve public access to portions of the MTA Police payroll.

However, fraudulent overtime is just the tip of the iceberg. The MTA’s COVID-driven revenue losses shouldn’t conceal the fact that the Authority already faced runaway personnel costs. The MTA’s overtime spending has spiked in recent years because of inefficient union contracts, and despite a COVID-driven drop in revenues, the MTA gave most subway workers raises in May.

The MTA’s largest union is already advocating for tax increases, including higher gas taxes, and the Authority’s leadership is seeking a federal bailout. But these criminal charges are proof that the MTA, and New York state officials, need to do their fair share to cut costs before asking New Yorkers to pay more.

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.

You may also like

Rec and Restroom Facility Projects Among Fresh DASNY Pork

A total of $87 million in new grants were steered to 174 local projects over the past ten months by Governor Cuomo’s State Dormitory Authority (DASNY) Read More

Empire Center Recognized for Exposing NY Nursing Home Coverup

In recognition of the importance of government transparency, the Empire Center has been selected as a finalist for the for its role in exposing the coverup of thousands of COVID-related deaths among New York’s elderly population. In the thick of the Read More

Arbeeny Family and Empire Center Partner to Promote Open Government

The family of Norman Arbeeny has made a generous donation to the Empire Center to bring more openness and transparency to New York State government. Read More

Empire Center Demands Dozens of Coronavirus Data Sets from the NYS DOH

The Empire Center filed 62 Freedom of Information Law requests for coronavirus-related records from the Department of Health. Read More

A Shadowy Non-Profit that Employs One-Fifth of the New York State Health Department Claims To Be Exempt from FOIL

In another blow to transparency in Albany, a non-profit group closely tied to the state Health Department is refusing to publicly disclose its payroll records under the Freedom of Information Law. (HRI) has funct Read More

Empire Center’s Budget App Now Includes FY 22 Enacted Budget Data

The Empire Center’s online New York State budget database has been updated to reflect all the key numbers from the enacted budget for fiscal year 2022. Read More

NYC Retirees’ Annual Pension Payments Near $5 Billion

Nearly five billion in pension payments were made in 2020 to retirees enrolled in the New York City Employee Retirement System (NYCERS) Read More

Port Authority of NY and NJ Payroll Eclipses One Billion Mark

Payroll for Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) in calendar year 2020 crossed the billion-dollar threshold Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@EmpireCenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!