MBTA borrowing plan frees up cash for state to balance budget

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The Baker administration, which struggled to balance the state’s books in fiscal 2016, plans to use borrowed dollars for its final two months of payments to the MBTA, freeing up operating dollars.

An administration official said the operating cash would be used to address the fiscal 2016 tax revenue shortfall ($484 million below expectations).

Union Station

Sun Staff / Worcester Sun

MBTA got its budget on track enough to be in a position to help the state balance its spending plan.

The T’s ongoing budget problems were improved somewhat in the fiscal year that ended in July.

Facing a deficit projected at $170 million, the T was allotted $187 million in the fiscal 2016 budget passed by lawmakers more than a year ago. That $187 million was funded by the Commonwealth Transportation Fund, which is fed by transportation revenues.

Over the last 12 months, the MBTA lessened its fiscal 2016 structural shortfall to about $95 million and devoted the surplus money left over from the state bailout to improvements and repairs on a system that groans under a more than $7 billion estimated backlog of work to bring the entire system into good working order.

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