You think its bad for PAT now, it's about to get A LOT WORSE! (Pittsburgh: vacation, accounting)
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I already told you the facts so I' not sure what you're talking about except playing little games with rhetoric.
Originally Posted by BriantTH
The state told PAT, you will get $X in operating funding from us. PAT based its operating budget on getting $X from the state, then set its service plan according to its operating budget. The state then told PAT, sorry, our funding contribution won't be $X, it will be $Y (less than $X). With less state operating funding, PAT had to cut its operating budget, which in turn meant it had to cut its service plan. Rendell gave them the approximate equivalent of $X-$Y for one year, which PAT spread out over two years, so they had to cut service immediately, but had longer before needing to implement the full cuts.
wrong. the state said, based on this funding formula, we're going to give you more operating dollars than we have in the past. it's based on our ability to toll I80. SEPTA knew, as did anyone else with half a brain, that I80 wasn't going to pass since the feds had already indicated that it would not. SEPTA had a windfall year in 08, they socked it away, and made few changes to their operations except tinkering around the edges. for a brief period they moved forward with short term projects with the new money. when the money inevitably dried up after 80 wasn't approved, they simply went back the lower budget. you can BS all you want about cuts, but the fact is, it wasn't cuts to basic funding, the plug fell through and nobody made up for it. maybe rendell fooled you, but I doubt it, you're just manipulating the facts to suit your view of the world. the reason PAT has been so hard hit is because of legacy costs, if you deny that, well, you're lying. we've been over it a million times.
Originally Posted by BrianTH
As a Republican, though, Corbett could not simply give money to the union without a "long term fix." Corbett would be giving money to PAT for operations. Calling that "giving money to the union" is Tea Party nonsense-rhetoric.
wrong, it's politics, always has been. to deny that giving money to oeprations isn't giving money to the unions whose cost eat up an increasingly large share of the budget would be lying, or being an questioning Democrat, your choice.
the state said, based on this funding formula, we're going to give you more operating dollars than we have in the past.
Which it did. Then after after a few years, it cut PAT's funding to a lower level.
That's a funding cut.
SEPTA knew, as did anyone else with half a brain, that I80 wasn't going to pass since the feds had already indicated that it would not.
If you are claiming the funding cuts were predictable, then first, that doesn't imply there was in fact no funding cuts. If I predict it is going to rain tomorrow and then it rains, that doesn't mean it isn't raining.
Second, two things actually had to happen for the funding cuts to be triggered by the I-80 toll falling through. First, the I-80 toll had to fall through. I agree that was fairly predictable. Second, the state had to fail to provide alternative funding. That was less predictable. In fact, Rendell called special sessions of the legislature, they met and discussed options. Ultimately they didn't act, but I don't think it is fair to say it was known in advance they wouldn't act.
In any event, none of that changes the fact that the state did in fact cut PAT's funding.
when the money inevitably dried up after 80 wasn't approved, they simply went back the lower budget.
That is what is called a funding cut.
By the way, that's not actually accurate. Act 44 did a lot of different things, and when the I-80 toll fell through, the state's grant contributions for public transit went down, but not actually below where they had been before Act 44.
In any event, "went to a lower budget" is just a different phrase for "cut funding".
Edit: By the way, the more I think about it, the more I find this particular argument highly amusing. I'm pretty sure for any entity or program, at one point it got $0 in funding (say, before it existed). So if going back to prior, lower funding levels cannot be called a funding cut, there are no such thing as funding cuts! This, I suppose, is what passes for budgetary logic in Tea Party land. Unedit.
you can BS all you want about cuts, but the fact is, it wasn't cuts to basic funding, the plug fell through and nobody made up for it.
This is comically un-self-aware. You admit they "went to a lower budget", you even admit "nobody made up for it" (what is "it"? what would there to be make up for if there was no funding cut?), but then you insist I am the one who is trying to play rhetorical tricks and BSing.
By the way, I have no idea what you mean by "basic funding". As I noted above, parts of Act 44 are still operating, so it isn't like there is some pre-Act 44 baseline that has been restored.
I suppose, then, you must be defining "basic funding" as "funding levels under Act 44 in the event the I-80 toll is disallowed and the state does not make up for the shortfall", and claiming therefore that this "basic funding" has not, as a matter of definition, been cut.
And that is truly BS, rhetorical games, and whatever else you would like to call it. PAT got $184M in FY2010, and then it got $150M in FY2011 ($156M in FY2012). That's a funding cut.
the reason PAT has been so hard hit is because of legacy costs, if you deny that, well, you're lying. we've been over it a million times.
Yeah, I'm lying because I understand that $150M is less than $184M.
By the way, I have always, always, always agreed that PAT's legacy costs have contributed to it providing less service than it should be providing. The only one who is actually trying to deny the full picture is you.
wrong, it's politics, always has been.
I think I noted it is politics. Tea Party style politics, to be specific.
to deny that giving money to oeprations isn't giving money to the unions whose cost eat up an increasingly large share of the budget would be lying, or being an questioning Democrat, your choice.
Well, you could list every part of the operating budget and claim it is "giving money" to all the entities supplying any of PAT's operating inputs. Damn Corbett for giving money to diesel fuel companies!
But in Tea Party land, I get that you have to single out unions for some good ole bashing. Have fun with that.
Gov. Tom Corbett’s office has received copies of the contract proposals but would not comment on them on Friday, spokeswoman Kelli Roberts said. “We’re encouraged by some of the steps that have been proposed,” Roberts said. She said Corbett has wanted a long-term focus in the negotiations and will speak more once a deal is complete.
I think I noted it is politics. Tea Party style politics, to be specific...
But in Tea Party land, I get that you have to single out unions for some good ole bashing. Have fun with that.
I appreciate pman and others trying to have a balanced discussion, but Brian is looking at this as a chance to rally against the Tea Party and he isn't going to be able to just discuss PAT and its problems. It is his launching pad.
Thanks for all the posters stating the facts about the real problems and the obvious fact there was no real budget cut.
PAT's problems will continue each and every year, unless the legacy costs are truly addressed. If not, this thread will go on forever. Might as well just keep it fresh for next year's negotiations.
Unsure of the facts because it isn't clear from the posts. Just trying to get them straight. 1. It seems as if Rendell increased funding by the issuance of debt.
So you need to separate out two different events.
Back in 2007, the state passed Act 44, which did a variety of different things to overhaul state transportation funding, not just for PAT or transit, but across the board. Before then, PAT was getting state funding through a few different paths. This was largely consolidated into a single annual grant starting in 2008. The state's total contribution to PAT increased from FY2007 to FY2008, and continued at increased levels for FY2009 and FY2010.
Act 44 raised revenues in a variety of ways. One of those ways was a contribution from the Turnpike Commission ("PTC"). Some of that contribution was planned to come from increased tolls on the Turnpike, but the PTC was also authorized to lease and toll I-80. During the 2008-2010 period, the PTC was making its full contributions without having the toll revenues from I-80 yet, and that involved some debt financing. So that is one way in which debt was helping to finance the Act 44 increases in state funding for transportation (not just for PAT or transit, but in general).
In early 2010, the feds disallowed the I-80 toll, which meant under the terms of Act 44 the PTC could cut its payments to the state, since it wouldn't be getting the planned revenues from the toll. The cuts in the PTC contribution automatically triggered the funding cuts for PAT (Act 44 has funding formulas that determine where the revenues go). Rendell tried to get the legislature to pass a new revenue measure to make up for the loss of the PTC's I-80-related contribution, but they ultimately refused. However, PAT is still getting a larger grant than it got before Act 44, because the other Act 44 revenue measures have survived.
In late 2010, Rendell dedicated a one-time emergency grant to PAT to buy some time. They spread it over two years (FYs 2011 and 2012). That didn't come from debt--it was directed from as-of-then unspent federal funds.
So, the relevant question is if you ignore this "additional" funding did Rendelll cut funds, remain the same or increase funding.
If you ignore Rendell's one-time emergency grant, what happened is the state increased PAT's funding from FY2007 to FYs 2008 through 2010, then cut it for FYs 2011 and 2012, although it remains above its FY 2007 level (because parts of Act 44 are still working).
So, if you ignore the additional funds provided by the debt, which is a one time fix like selling off the city's asphalt plant for example, how does Corbett's fuding of PAT compare?
If my math is right, the rumored amount of additional state funding would get PAT's state contribution to about what it was in FYs 2008 through 2010, although that is less than it would have gotten in FY2013 under a fully-funded Act 44.
Am I following this correctly?
Not really, but it isn't your fault: various entities have deliberately misled people about this history for political purposes.
Edit: this article does a pretty good job summarizing a lot of the history, including the nature of Rendell's one-time emergency grant:
Thanks for the quick summary. So, Rendell increases funding by passing Act 44 and it peaked in 2010 and in theory would have been sustained had I80 been tolled. This however, was stopped in 2010, when the feds said we couldn't toll I80 and we reverted back a funding level which is greater than 2007 (pre Act 44) but less than 2008-10.
So, PAT receives more funding that it did in 2007 (pre Act 44) but that is not enough anymore due to increased costs (fuel, health insurance, increased wages, etc.)? Rendell knew this but couldn't fix it permanently so he did what he could which was kick the can down the road with the one time payment which made it Corbetts problem and not his. So, in essence the problem is caused because Corbett is trying to fund PAT at a 2007 which was fine in 2007 but the problem is that it isn't 2007 anymore and costs have gone up and PAT presumably "grew" due to the temporary increase in funding due to the initial increased payments from ACT 44 and from the one time payment from Rendell.
for PAT, it isn't just normal escalation of operating costs though, which is why the service cuts have been so severe.
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