Monday, February 23, 2009

Reality hits VTA

At this Friday's VTA workshop, the board will discuss the agency's budget outlook. Given the economic condition, VTA is predicting budget deficits for the next two fiscal years. (VTA has a two-year budget cycle).

VTA is expecting declines in sales tax: a 6.75% reduction from this fiscal year (FY 09) to last fiscal year (FY 08), an additional 5% reduction in FY10 from FY 09, and a 3% reduction in FY 11 from FY10.

On top of that, VTA will lose transit funding from the state because of the state budget situation.

Currently, VTA has an operating reserve of more than $50 million. According to VTA's projection, that reserve will disappear by next year. In the next two years, VTA is projecting a combined operating deficit of $78 million.

Stimulus funds

Contrary to a report by Gary Richards published earlier today, MTC has recommended not to use any of the regional funds for the Transbay Terminal train box project, largely because of the extra $8 billion funding for High Speed Rail pushed by President Obama. MTC's recommendation, however, would provide stimulus funds for a BART connector to Oakland Airport.

While funding to transit agencies have increased, some transit advocates want all the money to go to transit agencies and expressed opposition to the airport connector project.

No comments: