Suburban representatives decry commuter taxBy
After Manhattan Borough President and 2013 mayoral hopeful issued his call for a commuter tax as part of a comprehensive overhaul of MTA financing earlier this week, suburban interests from around the region were, predictable, unimpressed. As various New Jersey newspapers are reporting, nearly everyone in the Garden State opposes the measure, and the state legislature wants to condemn Stringer’s speech. They’d rather take advantage of our city’s services but not pay for them as well.
As The Wall Street Journal reported, Gov. Chris Christie was quick to lend his voice to the issue. He called the plan “penny-wise and pound foolish” and claimed boosting the transit system that powers the city would harm the region’s economy.
For his part, Stringer fired back with a statement. “Job killing?” he said. “When Gov. Christie de-railed the ARC tunnel, he cost the region more than 150,000 jobs and $9 billion in economic activity. That’s how you kill jobs, governor. Gov. Christie should do his homework and get his facts right about the commuter tax. The greatest expansion of jobs in the nation’s history occurred in the 1990s – when New Jerseyans who worked in NYC rightfully paid their fair share through a small commuter tax.”
Meanwhile, as other mayoral hopefuls stay silent on the issue, the Senate Republicans and some State Democrats also spoke out against Stringer’s plan. Sen. David Carlucci from Rockland and Orange Counties called it “an onerous tax that would negatively affect working families, many of whom commute to and from New York City every day.” No one is willing to show much foresight or understanding of the nuances here even though Stringer as mayor would little control over how the MTA is financed.