A group of Long Island Republicans who won entry into Albany last fall did so on the promise that they would immediately work to repeal the state mobility tax. Claiming that this tax, which generates $1.4 billion in annual revenue for the MTA, is a “job-killing” one, these representatives want to shift even more of the MTA funding burden onto the shoulders of city residents while at the same time enjoying the benefits of a vibrant commuter transit system. Now, though, it seems as though those repeal efforts are going to have to wait.
As Newsday reported this morning, State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos may be tabling repeal efforts until 2012 due to concerns over political leverage. Because the GOP would prefer to wrest other concessions out of state Democrats who, by and large, support the payroll mobility tax, Skelos may wait for a better opening before launching his assault on the MTA dollars. “When we can, we will take it up,” he said.
Meanwhile, Republicans recognize that they can’t just take this money away from the MTA without offering up replacement funds. While we don’t yet know what shape or form the compromise will take, Sen. Lee Zeldin says he is “studying ways to make up for revenue losses that would occur.” The payroll tax — just 34 cents per $100 — will remain alive, controversial and in the news for another year yet.