Funding request still uncertain 

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is still after $7 million to help it close a midyear deficit.

The debate about the debt-ridden SFMTA’s request from a fellow city agency will enter its third stage this week, with a decision on the crucial funding mechanism likely to be resolved Tuesday.

To help make up a midyear budget deficit that’s currently around $20 million, the SFMTA requested $7 million from the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, the public department in charge of doling out The City’s transportation-tax funding.

While the SFMTA will use the money to balance its operating budget — a request typically not handled by the TA — the funding will ultimately go toward rehabilitating the agency’s transit infrastructure, a caveat that has been granted legal clearance by the City Attorney’s Office.

However, a subcommittee of the TA — which is governed by the Board of Supervisors — balked at the request, saying the SFMTA should do more to lessen its planned 10 percent service reduction before receiving the $7 million.

The SFMTA has balanced its budgets for the next two fiscal years, but its financial situation for the current year, which ends June 30, is very cloudy due to a number of planned fiscal measures that haven’t been realized, including $11 million in revenue from taxi medallion sales.

Last week, the TA Plans and Programs Committee, chaired by Supervisor David Campos, continued the $7 million funding request to a special meeting, scheduled for Tuesday.

If the funding request is granted approval by the committee made up of several skeptical supervisors, it will go the TA’s full board for authorization later that day. If the Plans and Programs Committee doesn’t approve the measure, the SFMTA’s hopes for the $7 million will come to an end.

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Will Reisman

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Thursday, Aug 27, 2015

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