Back in 2008, the MTA’s financial picture was in complete shambles. The outlook was so bad, it led to former MTA CEO Elliot Sander to use such terms as “draconian” & “doomsday scenario” to describe the chaos & potential fare hikes & service cuts that were to come from it.
During that process, many different ideas were thrown out there as to how to create sustainable funding solutions for the much maligned transit agency. One of those proposals came in the form of a “Mobility Tax” aka “Payroll Tax” which requires employers and the self-employed to pay a tax of roughly 3.4 percent, or 34 cents per $100, on their company’s payroll. School districts and nonprofit organizations are not exempt from the tax.
I have been dead set against the measure as I felt it was the wrong way to go about creating sustainable funding solutions & it lacked basic economic sense. Many business owners & local leaders felt the same way & have filed lawsuits or considered joining them against the MTA’s tax as they question its state constitutional legality.
One of the first towns to rally against the tax was East Meadow in Nassau County. Yesterday, local business owners held a rally in town that was sponsored by state Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City). Mike Caputo of the Long Island Herald has more:
In the midst of election season, almost anything to do with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has become a hot-button issue.
A group of East Meadow business owners gathered on a breezy Tuesday morning to speak out against the state’s MTA payroll tax. The tax, which went into effect in 2009 to help alleviate the authority’s financial woes, charges businesses in 12 counties, including Nassau, about .34 percent per $100 of payroll.
“Surviving in these economic times is hard,” said Rich Bivone, owner of RMB Drafting in East Meadow and Nassau County chairman of the Long Island Business Council. “To have this tax added to what we have to do now on a daily basis to survive is unbelievable.”
The media event on Tuesday, held outside RMB Drafting on East Meadow Avenue, was sponsored by state Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City), who is running for re-election in November against Democratic challenger Francesca Carlow. Hannon, who voted against the MTA payroll tax, explained that politics are getting in the way of taking a hard look at fixing a number of management issues.
“It cannot be done overnight,” he said, “but there hasn’t been any sense of direction to this.”
Click here for the complete report.
I will continue to follow this story as it develops. You can read my past entries about it to understand where I stand on the issue.
xoxo Transit Blogger