PRESS RELEASE FROM LEG. DAY
The Rockland County Legislature passed two resolutions at its September 17 meeting in support of State Assembly bills that call for the phasing out of the Metropolitan Transit Authority Payroll Mobility Tax in the counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk by the year 2017 (A.1442), and in the short term, would exempt community colleges from the burden of the mobility tax (A.7775).
Both resolutions were introduced by Legislator Ed Day and received the full support of the County Legislature. The resolutions encourage the State Senate to introduce and pass similar legislation and request that Governor Cuomo sign the legislation if passed by both houses.
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-profit agencies. 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 in the past.
Day subsequently sponsored a resolution calling upon the state to eliminate the mobility tax burden for Rockland, as well as for 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, by far the worst in the 12-county MTA region. In August of 2012, a Long Island Supreme Court justice ruled that the payroll mobility tax was unconstitutional; however that ruling was overturned in July 2013 by an Appellate Court Division judge.
“Frankly I am fed up seeing the citizens of this county being treated like the MTA’s piggybank,” said Legislator Day. “The time has come for the MTA to live within their means and those in New York City who routinely use and benefit from the MTA system to pay their fair share. While we pay exorbitant tolls and get 45 cents in value for every dollar paid to the MTA, city dwellers get to cross the East River bridges free and get a bargain of a subway fare.
“The State 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.”