Thursday, June 27, 2013

Court rules MTA payroll tax should stand

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A New York Appellate Court Wednesday, June 26, 2013 overturned an earlier ruling that a Payroll Mobility Tax funding the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was unconstitutional, in effect assuring that MTA can continue to collect about $1.4 billion per year.

A Long Island Supreme Court Justice ruled in late 2102 that the tax was unconstitutional, did not serve a legitimate state function, and inflicted hardship on Nassau and Suffolk counties, both served by the Long Island Rail Road.

The MTA on Wednesday said its operations, also including Metro-North Railroad and New York City Transit, were "the backbone of the region's economy" and thanked the judges for the ruling. "Removal of the tax's revenues would have had a catastrophic impact on the region's 8.5 million daily transit riders," the MTA said.

By contrast, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano objected to the most recent decision. "We maintain the tax is overburdensome and just plain unfair," he said. Nassau County has been struggled with budget crises, sometimes severe, in recent years.