A Study of the Port of New York Authority

By Frederick L. Bird | Go to book overview

Chapter four
POWERS, JURISDICTION and MANAGEMENT

AN AUTHORITY has been well defined as "a governmental business corporation set up outside of the normal structure of traditional government so that it can give continuity, business efficiency and elastic management to the construction or operation of a self-supporting or revenue-producing public enterprise."1 The Port of New York Authority is an "authority" in the fullest sense of this definition. While it is a governmental agency, with immunity from taxation and from various regulatory restrictions imposed on private enterprise, it is able to operate like an efficient business corporation and to plan and conduct the functions delegated to it in an independent manner, without the uncertainties arising from frequently changing political controls and policies that affect the regular administrative divisions of government. Having its own revenues, from fully self- supporting enterprises, it is not dependent on the State legislatures for appropriations, but can adopt its own budgets and manage its own finances.

The scope of the Port Authority's functions, in fact, transcends the terms of the definition. In addition to controlling and operating not one enterprise, but several enterprises of varying types, it has been assigned duties of port protection, planning and development in the bi-state region of the Port District which give it vast potentialities as an agency for metropolitan area planning, unification and advancement in

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1
Luther Gulick, "Authorities and How to Use Them," The Tax Review, New York, November, 1947.

-33-

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