New City, NY (July 3, 2013) – Rockland County Legislator Ed Day (New City-Pomona) is sponsoring a resolution to call upon the State Assembly to pass Assembly Bill A.1443, that would phase out the Metropolitan Transit Authority payroll mobility tax in 2017 and related Assembly Bill A.7775 that would immediately exempt community colleges from the burden of the payroll tax.
Day’s resolution also calls upon the Senate to enact corresponding legislation and requests Governor Cuomo to sign both bills. A.1443 would also reduce the rate imposed on suburban counties by 50 percent in 2014. Rockland Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski introduced both bills.
The mobility tax was introduced in 2009 to assist the financially strapped MTA and levied a tax of 34 cents per every $100 of payroll paid by employers in the 12-county MTA region, including all levels of government and not for profits. At that time, Legislator Day submitted a recommendation to the County Legislature to withdraw from the MTA, a move that has been considered by the County Legislature on other occasions.
Day subsequently sponsored a resolution calling upon the state to eliminate the mobility tax burden for Rockland, as well as Orange, Dutchess and Putnam Counties, whose collective representation on the MTA board amounts to a vote of one. Day also pointed out that Rockland conveyed $90 million to the MTA but only received $45 million back in services, a value gap that would increase to $63 million with the imposition of the mobility tax.
While region employers realized some relief in 2012 through state legislation that exempted the self-employed and businesses with annual payroll between $10,000 and $1.25 million, the court decision now calls all that legislation into question. Legislator Day said he is disappointed in the recent decision by the Supreme Court’s Appellate Division to reverse a lower court ruling that declared the tax as unconstitutional.
“I fully expect an appeal on the matter,” said Day, “but given the financial burden this tax places on employers, it is my view that we should not wait for further court action. With the reinstitution of this new tax, the value gap will unbelievably equate to nearly two thirds of all County property tax collected. The New York Legislature has it within their domain to repeal this tax. Given how this tax has stifled both an economic recovery and economic development here in Rockland, and we are the most underserved county in the 12-county region, this legislation is highly appropriate.”