Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt (R,I,C-Greenwood Lake) has introduced new legislation to repeal the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax, commonly called the Payroll Tax.
“This tax should never have been imposed to begin with. Especially now, as the state, businesses and residents attempt to dig out from the recession we need to be telling employers that New York State is open for business. We need jobs to restore our prosperity. This tax does the complete opposite and should be immediately rescinded,” said the assemblywoman.
Although there was some discussion amongst lawmakers to repeal the tax as part of the 2011-12 State Budget, the final bills neglected to include any language in regard to the payroll tax. The final budget appropriated $3.8 billion for MTA operating costs. Of these funds, 99 percent comes in the form of a dozen or more different taxes imposed on the residents and employers within the MTA’s 12-county service region. Among the various taxes, the payroll tax, which imposes a tax of 34 cents on every $100 of payroll, brings in roughly $1.4 billion; however, many pro-jobs and good government groups have pointed out that the more taxes imposed on employers the more jobs New York is forcing out of state.
Assemblywoman Rabbitt stated, “The message is contrary to what we need to be saying. The only way for our state, and our residents, to recover and have a prosperous future in state is by ensuring we have high-quality, long-term jobs. The payroll tax hurts employers who might want to create a job and penalizes those who already are employing New Yorkers. As more and more jobs leave the state, New Yorkers also are leaving and the revenue decreases. It’s a lose-lose situation for everyone.”
To help spur the economy and create better job opportunities, Assemblywoman Rabbitt is working to reduce the tax burden on employers – and the priority for Assemblywoman Rabbitt is eliminating the payroll tax on employers in Orange and Rockland counties. Her new legislation, A.5326, eliminates the payroll tax across the state and would go into effect immediately, once enacted. She said, “There are more than a dozen taxes already imposed for the benefit of the MTA. The payroll tax is an unnecessary job killer that we need to see rescinded immediately.”
The payroll tax is part of just one out of a handful of tax categories used to fund the MTA, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Financial Assistance Fund. This tax category was enacted in the 2009 bailout, along with a variety of taxes, fees and surcharges for residents and employers within the MTA’s 12-county service region, including: a $16 supplemental fee on all drivers licenses issued in the MTA 12-county service region, a $50 supplemental fee on all vehicle registrations, an additional five percent sales tax on all auto rentals, and a 50 cent surcharge on any taxi ride originating in New York City and ending in any of the counties within the MTA service region (outside of New York City).
In addition to this tax category, three other tax categories are imposed on New Yorkers to help fund the MTA, including the Metropolitan Mass Transit Operating Assistance Fund (combining a 3/8 percent sales tax, a 17 percent corporate franchise tax, a 17 percent surcharge on certain business, utilities, insurance, and banking taxes, and a regional addition to the state’s petroleum business tax); the Dedicated Mass Transportation Trust Fund (combining revenues from the petroleum business tax, motor vehicle fees, and various drivers license fees); and the Mortgage Recording Tax (combining two taxes on mortgages for properties within the 12-county service region).
“The breakdown of the MTA taxes certainly affirms the fact that Hudson Valley residents and businesses are ‘taxed enough’ – and we are only talking about the taxes, fees and surcharges imposed for the benefit of the MTA. Coupled with other business taxes, property taxes, utility and energy costs, New York State is essentially strangling employers and residents with this excessive tax burden. While the governor can take credit for passing a budget that ‘passes no new taxes,’ he and the other leaders have done little to cut taxes or provide real relief. We must give New Yorkers relief so they can keep their homes, stay employed, or keep the family business running. Rescinding the payroll tax is the right way to start providing this much-needed relief as its elimination will benefit every resident in the region,” said Assemblywoman Rabbitt.
Residents are encouraged to join Annie’s Fight to Rescind the MTA Payroll Tax and give Orange and Rockland counties an equal vote on the MTA Board by signing her petition, which is available at local government buildings, post offices or by contacting her office in Goshen. Petitions can be e-mailed to residents, but paper copy must be returned with an original signature. To request a copy of the petition, please e-mail email@example.com or call 845-291-3631.
NOTE: A video of Assemblywoman Rabbitt talking about the need for an immediate audit of the MTA, her legislation, and her petitions can be watched by visiting her Facebook page or by clicking on the following link: