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Transportation Alternatives Slams Changes to Payroll Tax
December 7th, 2011

Transportation Alternatives is not happy with the plan to exempt businesses from the MTA payroll tax that is part of the mega tax code deal legislators are going to consider tonight. They say the move will harm the MTA and riders who will end up paying more. Sen. Kevin Parker told me today that he thinks the move will, “put us right back where we were before,” in terms of funding for the MTA. Concern over the payroll tax and MTA funding is not at all likely to be even a minor speed bump in the passage of the bill as Democratic legislators want to tout their vote for a tax cut and a “fairer tax code” but a number of them told me today they expect to be dealing with, “How to save the MTA,” again next session.

Here is Transportation Alterntative’s full statement:

Governor Cuomos revised payroll tax plan puts the regions subway and bus riders in a perilous position. By exempting almost 80 percent of businesses currently paying the tax (and amid rumors that all schools will be exempt as well), Governor Cuomo is slashing one of the key dedicated sources of funding for public transportation in the state.

This leaves the millions of New Yorkers who rely on public transit with little more than IOUs in the place of secure revenue. Public transit is this regions lifeblood, creates construction and manufacturing jobs across the state, and it requires dedicated funding. Eliminating or reducing any source of revenue means that revenue must be replaced by another secure, dedicated source of funding.

The MTA cant keep trains and buses running on promises, says Paul Steely White of Transportation Alternatives. The State Legislature created the Payroll Mobility Tax as a dedicated fund because they recognized that public transportation is critical to our regions economy and essential to the lives of millions of New Yorkers. This move to defund it may well lead to future fare hikes and service cuts.

Governor Cuomo promises to pay the system back and hold the MTA harmless for the estimated $250-340 million annual loss in dedicated transit revenue by dipping into the states general fund, but thats no comfort from a Governor who stole $100 million from transit this year, is unwilling to pay for the capital plan with real money, is sitting on the Transit Lockbox Act that would protect dedicated transit funds in the future and still faces a budget deficit.

In December 2009, state lawmakers stole $160 million in dedicated transit funds. These raids led directly to the most devastating service cuts transit riders have seen in a generation: the loss of two subway lines, 32 local and express bus routes and 570 bus stops last year.

Without a commitment from Governor Cuomo for dedicated, sustainable funding, New Yorks 8.5 million transit riders are likely to once again pay higher fares for less service. Even before the Governors announcement, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli warned of the MTAs perilous financial future and of the likelihood of larger than expected fare hikes as a result.

By on December 7, 2011, 6:47 pm
In category: Albany,Eye on Albany,Transportation | 2 Comments »

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2 Responses to “Transportation Alternatives Slams Changes to Payroll Tax”

  1. peo Says:
    January 9th, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Great site, thanks for the tips! I’ll be bookmarking it.

  2. Noel Meeske Says:
    July 27th, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I’m pretty sure the IRS has the dumbest people in the world working for them. I was investigated for unpaid trsut fund taxes and this idiot didn’t know the difference between articles of incorporations and bylaws.

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