Paterson Proposes Increasing MTA Tax for City Businesses

For Your Reading

In a follow up to Reggie’s post on how the State often seems to have a tails I win, heads you lose attitude toward the city, Paterson is pitching a tax increase. Crain’s reports on a proposed 59% increase in NYC’s new business payroll tax to help MTA close its latest budget shortfall. This would happen at the same time that the same taxes in the suburbs would fall by 50%. Even if one could accept that idea of raising taxes on businesses in the city, the MTA is used by a massive number of commuters, why shouldn’t they bare some of the burden of the system? The mayor said the tax would be “terrible economics, grossly unfair, and contrary to every principle of good regional development” while Wiley Norvall, a spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, said, “If we keep putting all our eggs in this recession-sensitive basket, we could easily get burned yet again.” I think it is worth it to include the Mayor’s full statement:

First the Governor proposed a state budget that slashes support for New York City but not the suburbs, and now he proposes to wallop city businesses with more taxes while lightening the load for businesses in the suburbs. The idea that the State can spare the suburbs while sacking the City is terrible economics, grossly unfair, and contrary to every principle of good regional development. We in New York City saw the MTA’s problems coming and came up with a plan that would have created a steady stream of revenue for capital programs. Now the Governor proposes to shift an extra half billion dollar burden onto New York City taxpayers, who are the economic heart of our region. I will work night and day with our City’s delegation in Albany to stop this wrongheaded proposal from moving forward.