WASHINGTON, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- New York City needs an additional $34 billion in federal aid to help with the clean-up efforts from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center complex and killed over five thousand people, New York Gov. George Pataki told the Senate Thursday.
If approved, the request would bring the amount of federal aid up to $54 billion, including nearly $20 billion already authorized.
"Since September 11, President Bush, with his extraordinary leadership, and Congress have been unwavering in their support for New York -- not only in immediately meeting every request we had to respond to the immediate emergency, but also in moving quickly to approve $20 billion in federal aid," Pataki said before meeting with the Senate Appropriations Committee.
"This realistic and balanced package, developed in partnership with Mayor Giuliani, is a comprehensive proposal that will lift our economy, help working families and renew New York and America," he said.
The request breaks down into three categories: $34 billion for basic rescue, recovery and rebuilding support, $20 billion for economic revitalization and about $100 million for improvements in New York's homeland defense.
Pataki estimated rescue and recovery efforts would cost $15 billion, including clean-up, victims assistance, burial of dead, identification of missing, protective measures taken since the attacks, and utility repairs.
The additional $19 billion is needed for rebuilding and reconstruction of the area, including $8.2 billion to rebuild the World Trade Center and accompanying hotel, $2.4 billion for equipment replacement in both facilities, and $3.5 billion for mass transit infrastructure repairs.
Other projects would include road and water main repairs, tax subsidies to recoup lost toll and Port Authority revenue, and a complete rebuilding of the Port Authority organization.
The second category is a request for $20 billion in indirect aid to help with the economic recovery of the area.
Pataki -- who was joined at the meeting by New York Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton -- also asked for the creation of a "Liberty Recovery Zone" around the destroyed World Trade Center to encourage businesses destroyed or damaged to return to the area. According to documents provided by Pataki's staff, the zone would "establish special tax incentives and grants for qualified businesses, designed to simulate private investment, return temporarily relocated jobs to the community and rebuild 25 million square feet of commercial office space that was destroyed."
The money also would be used to support the health insurance of the estimated 377,000 workers affected by the attacks, many of which might lose jobs from the economic fallout, and provide additional unemployment insurance, workers compensation, and disaster unemployment insurance.
The $20 billion also would help the state and city governments recoup the estimated billions in tax revenue shortfalls anticipated to result from the attacks.
In terms of the state's homeland defense programs, Pataki is requesting an additional $100 million in improvements and security features to the city infrastructure, including water, sewer and transportation facilities.