Home Asides Pols decry payroll tax changes as advocates push for money

Pols decry payroll tax changes as advocates push for money

by Benjamin Kabak

As the snow blankets New York, the subway system is holding up for now. As we know, the same cannot be said of the MTA’s finances, and as Gov. Paterson’s new payroll tax plan percolates through the political bodies of the area, New York City reps are up in arms. Today’s anti-Paterson rant comes to us from City Council Speaker Chrstine Quinn. Calling the new plan “outrageous” and “twisted,” Quinn slammed business for not complying and the governor for foisting more taxes on the backs of New York City business.

“Why do we have to pay for absolutely everything in the state of New York? It’s outrageous! It’s outrageous! I mean, we’re not a piggy bank! I mean, we’re not an ATM machine for the state. We’re willing to pay our fair share, and we do in greater amounts than our numerical, you know, whatever. But this is just above and beyond,” she said. “And it’s really – while we’re at the same moment talking about eliminating MetroCards, cutting back on disabled Access-A-Rides, cutting back on bus lines and subway lines – at the same time, we’re going to tell New York City workers who are getting less they’re going to pay more. And they’re going to pay more than other counties. It’s just twisted.”

Meanwhile, as Mt. Quinn erupted, the Empire State Transportation Alliance went north to Albany to lobby for better transit funding. Alliance members asked the state to restore $143 million in appropriations cuts to the MTA, to approve the next five-year capital plan and to fully fund the student MetroCard program. These funds, they say, can be found via “congestion management tacits” including tolls or congestion fees. “We are not asking the state for a bailout or handout,” Veronica Vanterpool, associate director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said. “We are asking state legislators to restore transit funds that were taken and to keep last year’s promise for a financially solvent and sustainable funding plan.” Sounds good to me.

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JK February 10, 2010 - 4:33 pm

Quinn is right about compliance. The mobility tax is a clunky one to comply with. Lots of time and paperwork for a small business. It would have been easier to tack on the tax to income taxes.

Quinn never met a tax she did not like so I am surprised to hear her complain now. Maybe her buddy Seabrook will give her up when he squeals to the Feds.

Josh K February 10, 2010 - 5:12 pm

You know what’s weird, is that everyone in Upstate and Western NY seem to think that they’re the ones paying more than their fare share. This ongoing spat between NYC vs. Suburbs vs. Rest of the State is really, truly pointless. It’s a false dichotomy used by cynical politicians who want to appear to be doing something, without really sticking their neck out. I think in NY we need the right to immediately recall our elected officials at anytime.

Older and Wiser February 10, 2010 - 5:54 pm

The salaries earned in NYC and brought home via the MTA to suburban & exurban counties for spending represent a direct supplemental injection of outside funds into the economies of those counties. It’s like having oil wells, for crying out loud.

Brian H February 10, 2010 - 7:11 pm

The article says that NYPIRG Straphangers and the TWU 100 are both part of the Empire State Transportation Alliance. It’s great that the umbrella organization has the good sense to lobby Albany to properly fund the MTA. Why the hell can’t Straphangers and the TWU get more directly involved? Their noise machines are far superior than the ESTA, or quite frankly, anything the MTA itself can offer.

Last week, the TWU was in the Broad Street station trying to mobilize M-train commuters there into pushing the Quinn-Russianoff plan. Just once, I would like to see them bring some political pressure to bear against the State on the MTA’s behalf (and ultimately, their own). Or are they legally prohibited from doing this for some reason?

Grrrumpy Miner February 10, 2010 - 8:11 pm

Guess with all of us left holding the bag again,time to start the ball rolling for NYC to become the 51st State of the Union.If we were to secede,The rest of NY State would falter without us.Lets see them survive than.

SEAN February 10, 2010 - 8:56 pm

And the sooner the better. I’m sick! & tired! of upstate politicos dictating policy to the Metro area while they suck up our money for there unnessessary pet projects!

rhywun February 10, 2010 - 9:49 pm

As a native of Rochester I can confirm that they’d be more than happy to ditch us New Yorkers–but not for the reason they think. They see the high taxes imposed by Albany for various “progressive” causes that are admittedly largely driven by NYC-area legislators, and assume that all those taxes are flowing to NYC. We know that’s not true but at the same time I can totally sympathize with their frustration at being tied to downstate policies that drive their taxes through the roof–especially with their economies being so weak.


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