Commuter tax coming back?
Lately, do you the sense that New York City isn’t going to stop until it gets more money out of suburban residents who work there?
First it was Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan, which died in the state Legislature. Now it’s a new look at a commuter tax. For years, suburban residents who worked in the city paid such a tax, but it was eliminated in 1999.
Back in September, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he supported the idea of the tax (though he helped get rid of it nine years ago.
This week, Bloomberg’s budget director told a City Council members at a hearing that he and the mayor are raring to go to Albany and push for it, the Associated Press reports. You can expect arguments, and you can expect it to break down this way: Bloomberg and supporters will say New York is the center of our region. And since the region’s prosperity relies on New York’s prosperity, we need to help out.
Westchester leaders will say, as some already have, that county residents already add to the city’s economy. Commuters to the city shop there and buy their lunch at New York delis. They also eat at Manhattan’s restaurants and go to Broadways shows, as do many people who don’t work there.
Either way, this isn’t going away. With the economy on the slide, people and governments that have less money are looking for new ways to get money, and often that means looking for more of it from other people who suddenly have less money.
It ain’t pretty, but it’s real.
Anyway, here’s AP’s brief story on the latest…
NEW YORK (AP) — A tax on New York City commuters may be getting new life.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s budget director told a City Council finance hearing Monday that he and the mayor are eager to lobby again for the tax in Albany, particularly in tough economic times for both the state and city.
Republican state lawmakers recently said they oppose any attempt to revive the tax, but a newly Democratic-controlled state Senate might mean the proposal gets another chance in January.
Commuters who live outside New York City had the tax on their city earnings for 33 years. It generated as much as $360 million a year for the city before it was eliminated in 1999.