The New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer has announced support for a breakthrough proposal released by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) to address the taxi medallion crisis that has led to widespread financial devastation among drivers whose medallion values plummeted. NYTWA’s plan calls on lenders to write down outstanding loans to a maximum of $125,000, allowing medallion owners to repay loans on terms they can afford with current earnings. Under this agreement, the City would act as a backstop for medallion loans held by individual owners. After reviewing the proposal, the Comptroller’s Office has concluded that it offers a comprehensive risk management approach that could reduce future liability and costs for taxpayers.
“For decades, driving a cab in New York City was a road to the middle class for immigrants from around the world. But today, the medallion that once promised prosperity and stability is now a financial sinkhole. The taxi medallion crisis is a test of our commitment to fighting poverty and preserving pathways to the American Dream,” said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. “This breakthrough proposal from the Taxi Workers Alliance offers a responsible and necessary approach to relieve crushing debt for drivers and reduce ballooning costs for taxpayers. Predatory lenders took drivers for a ride and left families in a wreckage of financial distress and despair. We have a fiscal and moral obligation to make this right—and embracing this plan is a start. My office has vetted the proposal from the New York Taxi Workers Alliance and found it fiscally sound.”