The Metropolitan Transportation Authority just released an expanded statement on yesterday’s state Supreme Court decision in Nassau County that found the MTA payroll tax unconstitutional. The authority said last night that it intends to appeal the ruling.
The payroll tax took effect three years ago and was implemented to help stave off a potential shortfall in the MTA budget. It applies to businesses and self-employed individuals in New York City and seven surrounding counties, including Putnam, Rockland, Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Nassau and Suffolk.
Nassau County filed the lawsuit over the tax. Westchester and Putnam counties and several other communities in the Lower Hudson Valley signed onto it. Elected officials hailed the decision last night. Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, today called for a repeal of the law and a retroactive refund.
This is the MTA statement:
“The MTA strongly believes that yesterday’s ruling from Nassau Supreme Court is erroneous. We will vigorously appeal it and we expect it will be overturned, since four similar Supreme Court cases making the same argument were previously dismissed.
“The Payroll Mobility Tax maintains a regional transportation system that moves more than 8.5 million people every day and drives the economy of New York City, Long Island, the northern suburbs and the entire state.
“Removing more than $1.2 billion in revenue from the Payroll Mobility Tax, plus hundreds of millions of dollars more from other taxes affected by yesterday’s ruling, would be catastrophic for the MTA and for the economy of New York State.
“The MTA is getting its fiscal house in order. We have cut more than $700 million from our annual operating budget and eliminated 3,500 jobs. We are on track for this year’s discretionary spending to actually be lower than last year’s.
“Without the Payroll Mobility Tax or another stable and reliable source of funding, the MTA would be forced to implement a combination of extreme service cuts and fare hikes. The Payroll Mobility Tax remains in effect for now, and we expect that it will survive this legal challenge.”