[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
[Adopted 7-26-1995 by L.L. No. 21-1995 (Ch. 465, Art. I, of the 1985 Code)]
A state law has been enacted that would establish a formula for the levying of station maintenance charges paid by the Counties of Suffolk and Nassau. This formula would replace the contentious system of cost allocations and audits presently encountered in the Counties of Suffolk and Nassau.
The state law amends § 1277 of the Public Authorities Law to provide a formula for determining the annual amount to be paid by the Counties of Suffolk and Nassau within the metropolitan transportation district for the cost to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and its subsidiary corporations for the operation, maintenance and use of passenger stations within the district. Any such payment agreements would be subject to the approval of the County Executives and elected governing bodies of the respective counties. Failure by a county to adopt such an agreement, however, would not excuse it from liability for reimbursing the MTA for its actual expenses.
Chapters 494 and 495 of the Laws of 1990 directed the MTA to prepare a report which would identify alternative funding mechanisms by which the city and the affected counties would pay station maintenance costs in lieu of the mechanism provided by § 1277 of the Public Authorities Law. Such chapters prescribed that the annual payments to be made by the city and such counties be based on historical averages of amounts paid adjusted to current dollars. The chapters expressly articulated the legislative intent that the funding options be based on relatively predictable criteria and that they not be calculated on the basis of actual expenses incurred, the method of calculation not be easily subject to dispute and that the funding mechanism contain an escalation provision which provides for growth at a rate not to exceed the general rate of inflation. The MTA prepared such report in January 1991 and delivered the report to the officials specified in the chapters.
Chapter 191 of the Laws of 1995 implements the legislative intent by amending the Public Authorities Law to provide a funding mechanism based upon the criteria specified in the chapters and the recommendations contained in the report for the operation, maintenance and use of passenger stations in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The law adopts a middle ground whereby the affected parties would pay a specified dollar amount, subject to adjustment annually to reflect the regional consumer price index, thereby removing the difficulties associated with calculating actual expenses but leaving the parties subject to a funding formula that determines charges without regard to actual expenses, whether such actual expenses are greater or less than the amount charged under the formula.
For the provisions of Chapter 191 of the Laws of 1995 to apply to Suffolk County, a local law must be adopted making the provisions applicable by no later than August 1, 1995.
This Legislature hereby finds that it is in the best interests of the citizens of Suffolk County that the provisions of Chapter 191 of the Laws of 1995 law apply to Suffolk County.
The provisions of Chapter 191 of Laws of 1995, which amends § 1277 of the Public Authorities Law to establish a formula for the levying of station maintenance charges paid by the Counties of Suffolk and Nassau, shall apply to Suffolk County.
This chapter shall apply to any transaction occurring on or after the effective date of this chapter.