Port Authority releases proposed 2022 budget for public review and comment

Proposed 2022 Budget Reflects Agency’s Continuing Recovery and Ongoing Challenges from COVID-19 Pandemic

Proposed Budget Growth Supported by the Continued Recovery of Volumes Across Port Authority’s Facilities

$7.9 Billion Budget Seeks to Support Projected Increases in Volumes While Advancing Critical Infrastructure Investments

Spending Remains Significantly Below Pre-Pandemic Projections

Public Requested to Submit Written Comments Here by December 10

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today released for public review and comment the agency’s proposed $7.9 billion 2022 budget, which consists of $3.4 billion for operating expenses, $2.7 billion for annual capital spending, and $1.8 billion for debt service and deferred expenses.

The proposed 2022 budget reflects the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Port Authority’s financial condition. It ensures that the Port Authority maintains its commitment to high standards of safety, security, cleanliness, and customer service for its customers, while maintaining fiscal discipline.

The proposed 2022 budget investments are supported by a substantial increase in projected revenues in 2022, reflecting the agency’s ongoing activity recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, even as all budget levels remain significantly below pre-pandemic projections.

“The Board’s proposed 2022 budget pragmatically balances the growth we anticipate in the year ahead with the realities the pandemic has imposed on us – reduced revenues and operational adjustments that have enabled us to continue to move the region forward in the most efficient way possible,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “Our spending plan continues to support major capital projects under way while building a framework for future growth and service enhancements.”

“We continue to operate in a challenging economic environment, but we remain committed to advancing the vital projects and services that serve our customers and region,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “The agency continues its recovery from the extreme revenue loss due to the impact of the pandemic, and the challenges COVID-19 has imposed remain significant.  The proposed 2022 budget will prudently and responsibly help us rebuild, sustain and enhance critical operations and services in the year ahead.”

Toll rates for autos and trucks, as well as PATH fares, remain unchanged in 2022.  Pursuant to the September 2019 Board action by the Port Authority Board of commissioners that adopted a toll increase schedule, the 2022 budget is based on the following:

  • A toll increase of $3 per bus, effective in January 2022;
  • Based on an automatic inflation increase, a $0.25 AirTrain fare increase, also effective January 2022.

The proposed core 2022 operating expense budget, totaling $3.4 billion, reflects a core increase of $211 million, or 6.6 percent versus the 2021 austerity operating expense budget. The 2021 austerity operating expense budget reduced the agency’s head count by 626 positions (7 percent) and carried forward approximately $190 million of cost reductions implemented in 2020 (in addition to making further cost reductions needed to offset unavoidable contractual and structural increases elsewhere), among other reductions.

This proposed core 2022 operating expense budget holds the head count flat to the reduced 2021 levels and provides for inflation-based growth for labor and contracts, non-discretionary contractual increases, and targeted incremental spending to:

  • prudently restore resources reduced as a result of lower activity volumes at the height of the pandemic in relation to the ongoing activity recovery;
  • make incremental security investments including funding for two new police classes (necessary to maintain the size of the police force after considering retirements) and additional cyber security protections;
  • invest in new projects and initiatives, including innovative demonstration projects, sustainability initiatives to advance the agency’s new net-zero commitments, and revenue generating and customer experience projects.

The proposed 2022 capital spending budget of $2.7 billion reflects an increase of $316 million, or 13 percent versus the 2021 austerity capital spending budget. This proposed 2022 capital spending budget phases in additional spending in a fiscally prudent manner from the reduced spending levels in 2020 and 2021 that were necessary as a result of the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on the agency’s cash flow and financial position. This proposed 2022 capital spending budget advances the agency’s pre-pandemic commitment to rebuilding the region’s aging infrastructure.

The proposed 2022 debt service and deferred expense budget of $1.8 billion reflects an increase of $74 million, or 4.5 percent versus the 2021 debt service and deferred expense budget. This increase is driven by the schedule of borrowing required to help fund the capital plan, in addition to an increase in deferred expenditures to fund sustainability initiatives, vehicle purchases and replacements (including electric vehicles and buses), and planned technology investments.

The Port Authority is seeking public comment on the proposed 2022 budget, which is available online here. The proposed 2022 budget will be on the agenda for action at the Board of commissioners’ meeting on December 16.

The public may submit written comments here on the proposed 2022 budget by December 10. Members of the public wishing to address the Board on the proposed 2022 budget as part of the December 16 Board meeting can submit any of the following:

  • written statements, which will be filed with the Board meeting transcripts. The agency will provide written comments received to the Board commissioners prior to their meeting;
  • pre-recorded video statements which will be broadcast as part of the public Board meeting. Advance registration required.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

2021 marks the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Centennial Year. The bi-state agency builds, operates, and maintains many of the most important transportation and trade infrastructure assets in the country. Founded in 1921, the agency’s network of aviation, ground, rail, and seaport facilities is among the busiest in the country, supports more than 550,000 regional jobs, and generates more than $23 billion in annual wages and $80 billion in annual economic activity. The Port Authority also owns and manages the 16-acre World Trade Center site, where the 1,776-foot-tall One World Trade Center is now the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere. The Port Authority receives no tax revenue from either the State of New York or New Jersey or from the City of New York. The agency raises the necessary funds for the improvement, construction or acquisition of its facilities primarily on its own credit. For more information or for updates from the Now Arriving blog, please visit https://www.panynj.gov/blog.

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