Rockland Should Join Fight Against Payroll Tax

A big financial battle that has taken on a life of its own over the last brief period of time is the one over the MTA Mobility Tax aka MTA Payroll Tax. As I originally opined in December 2008, it was a horrible way to create revenue for the cash strapped transit agency due to the negative effects it would have on the region’s economy.

Some have taken this sentiment & added their own in a much bigger stage, lawsuits against the tax in which they question the constitutional legality of it. Nassau County took the lead as they joined a suit against the tax. Shortly after they announced their intention, other towns & counties jumped in including Orange & Putnam. Now we might add another county to the list if Edwin Day has his way.

The Republican Legislator out of New City, NY wants Rockland County to join the fight against the tax. William Demarest of the New City Patch has more in this report:

Rockland County Legislator Edwin Day, R- New City, has formally requested that Rockland join other suburban counties in a legal fight against the state to overturn the Metropolitan Transit Authority Payroll Mobility tax.

“Last year, our illustrious state legislature foisted this egregious payroll tax upon each and every person in Rockland County, further exacerbating the so called transportation value gap where we now pay $106 million each year in order to receive only $46 million in value,” said Day, who is the deputy minority leader in the county Legislature. “That is a paltry 43 cents back for each dollar we give.

While we in Rockland chart a course of withdrawal from the MTA ‘Consortium of Inequity,’ an action which I sponsored last year, these critical financial times compel us to use any and all strategies at our disposal to stop the bleeding of Rockland taxpayers,” said Legislator Day.

During discussions with Putnam County Legislative Chairman Vincent Tamagna, Day determined that they have joined with Nassau County in having the MTA tax overturned as unconstitutional. Additionally, three towns in Orange County have signed onto the lawsuit.

Some of the legal grounds being explored include the passage of the tax without the required two-thirds vote of the legislature; implementing more than one appropriation in violation of Article VII of the State Constitution; a defacto, yet illegal, amending of the Vehicular and Traffic law; and a violation of the New York Public Authorities Law, which mandates that the MTA be self-sustaining.

Click here for the complete report.

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