Issues: MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

From the Desk of Senator Jack M. Martins

The All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

Congratulations taxpayers. I have good news. The New York State Supreme Court ruled the MTA Payroll Tax that drained $1.4 billion from New York’s downstate economy is unconstitutional. Unfortunately, NYC-based interests are already working to overturn the ruling so I want to share some facts before waters are muddied.

August 28, 2012
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Senator Martins Applauds Court Decision Declaring MTA Payroll Tax Unconstitutional

Senator Jack M. Martins joined with his colleagues in state government as well as Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano last week in applauding the State Supreme Court’s decision declaring the MTA Payroll Tax unconstitutional.

The tax, which was imposed in 2009 by the former Senate majority and former Governor, proved to hurt Long Island’s economy at a time when the region was reeling from a national recession by requiring every employer to pay .34 percent of their total payroll to help fund the MTA. The tax was imposed on all schools, businesses, municipalities, hospitals and not-for-profits in seven counties including Nassau and Suffolk within the MTA region. The court concluded that to impose a tax on certain regions in the state was unconstitutional.

August 27, 2012
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STATE SUPREME COURT RULES MTA PAYROLL TAX UNCONSTITUTIONAL

After having personally battled against the unfair and ill-conceived MTA Payroll Tax for more than two years, I’

August 24, 2012
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MTA PAYROLL TAX RULING MET WITH JOY; TRANSIT AUTHORITY PLANS APPEAL

Poughkeepsie Journal: 8.24.12 / Written By: C. Valdez & N. Schutzman

Businesses, commuters glad judge rejected payroll levy

A state Supreme Court justice’s ruling that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s controversial payroll tax is unconstitutional has raised a slew of questions for commuters, business owners and elected officials.

August 24, 2012
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Senator Zeldin Adds To The Record on 2 Important Parts of the MTA Tax Repeal Debate

State Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley) released the following statement today in response to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) challenging the merits of Wednesday’s ruling by State Supreme Court Justice R. Bruce Cozzens, Jr.

Senator Zeldin also addressed the MTA’s threat to drastically increase fares and cut services as a result:

The MTA Payroll Tax is Unconstitutional

August 24, 2012
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STATEMENT ON MTA PAYROLL TAX RULING

State Supreme Court Judge Bruce Cozzens decision that the onerous MTA Payroll tax is unconstitutional is a win for Long Island. When I voted against the horrific MTA payroll tax in 2009, and for its partial repeal in 2011, I said it was a massive new unfunded mandate that will drive up property taxes, increase taxes on businesses and cause the loss of jobs throughout the MTA region, and it did just that.

August 23, 2012
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Senator Lee Zeldin Reacts to State Supreme Court Ruling to Overturn MTA Payroll Tax

State Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R-C-I, Shirley) today applauded the decision of State Supreme Court Justice R. Bruce Cozzins Jr., for ruling the MTA Payroll Tax unconstitutional. Senator Zeldin has been an outspoken critic of this tax which was created in May 2009 to bailout the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA).

“The MTA Payroll Tax is an unconstitutional, job killing tax, which should have never been passed in the first place,” said Senator Zeldin. “I was proud to lead the fight for a repeal in the State Legislature and am thankful that the New York State Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional. I congratulate the Plaintiffs of the lawsuit for fighting for this decision.”

August 22, 2012
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Speaking at a rally I held with local leaders this morning calling on the MTA to restore the W subway line and QM22 express bus.

We're happy the B24 was fully restored, however, western Queens still isn't getting it's fair share of the benefits of the MTA.

August 17, 2012
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Senator Martins, LIRR President Helena Williams Outline Major Improvements at Hicksville Station

Senator Jack M. Martins and Long Island Rail Road President Helena E. Williams were at the Hicksville LIRR station on Tuesday, July 31, reviewing plans for the improvement of the station that the railroad believes will significantly improve service and customer satisfaction for Long Island commuters.

Senator Martins and Ms. Williams both indicated how important the Hicksville LIRR station is to commuters as the busiest station in Nassau County where both the Huntington/Port Jefferson Branch and the Ronkonkoma Branch converge into the Main Line.

August 3, 2012
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From the Desk of Senator Jack M. Martins

Slowly but Surely

Back in February of 2011, I met Susan, a resident of New Hyde Park, who shared with me yet another of those Long Island Railroad stories that can drive sane people mad.

Just a few weeks before, Susan had decided to avoid the snow-covered roads and purchased two one-way tickets at the New Hyde Park railroad station. She didn’t use the return fare since she was able to get a ride home. When she tried to refund the ticket, she was shocked to learn MTA policy called for a $10 processing fee regardless of the ticket’s price. That was more than her $7.25 ticket. Imagine a refund fee more costly than the actual product itself!

July 30, 2012
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MTA announces partial restoration of Q79 bus

The NY Daily News reports on the MTA's announcement to restore transportation services in the Bronx and Brooklyn, which has lead Senator Gianaris to request the reinstatement of services to Queens as well.

Days after the MTA announced plans to expand service in Brooklyn and the Bronx, eastern Queens got some good news of its own on Thursday.

 

Agency officials said it will partially restore service along the former Q79 bus route by re-routing every other Q36 bus to run along the old Q79 route from Little Neck to Floral Park.

 

[...]

 

State Sen. Michael Gianaris sent a letter to MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota this week requesting that two major transit options in his district be reinstated.

 

July 27, 2012
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Astoria Sen. asks for W train revival

An article by the Queens Chronicle talks about Senator Gianaris' effort to bring the W train and QM22 express bus back to Queens.

State Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) sent a letter to Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota on Monday asking for the reinstatement of the W subway line and the QM22 express bus.

 

[...]

 

“My position is simple, we all sacrificed when the MTA said they had no money, but now they should be restored fairly between all five boroughs,” Gianaris said.

 

The MTA would not comment on whether the restoration of these two lines are being looked into.

 

July 27, 2012
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Bring Back the W Train, Astoria Pol Says

DNA Info reports that Senator Gianaris has called on the MTA to restore the W train and QM22 express bus to service.

After massive subway and bus service cuts two years ago, Western Queens residents have been forced to deal with fewer transit options, making their commutes to work longer and more inconvenient, state Sen. Michael Gianaris says.

 

[...]

 

“Recent transit cuts have been a burden on western Queens residents, who rely heavily on mass transit to get to and from work every day,” Gianaris said.

Read the full article here.

July 27, 2012
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Senator Martins Leads Fights to Change LIRR Ticket Policy

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that it will be extending the validity period for one-way and round-trip Long Island Railroad tickets from two weeks to two months as well as the refund period for those tickets from one month to two months in an effort to improve customer service.

July 27, 2012
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SENATORS FUSCHILLO & MARTINS: MTA’S PLAN TO EXTEND USE PERIOD FOR LIRR & METRO NORTH TICKETS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

     “This morning, the MTA Board’s LIRR/Metro North committee announced plans to extend the length of time for which LIRR & Metro North tickets are valid. This plan, which is expected to be considered by the full MTA board on Wednesday, is a step in the right direction improving customer service.

     Ever since the MTA significantly shortened the ticket validity period at the end of 2010, riders voiced their objections to a policy which gave them only days to use a commuter rail ticket. We completely agreed with them. In a welcome move, the MTA has listened to their concerns and taken action to address them.

July 23, 2012
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Senator Dilan Praises Proposed Transit Service Restorations as Part of MTA $29 Million Investment

Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Bushwick) today praised the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s plan to restore transit services to North Brooklyn that were cut as part of the MTA’s 2009-2010 cost saving actions.“The North Brooklyn communities of Greenpoint and Williamsburg lost some vital transit services as part of the 2010 reductions. Today, not only are some of these services returning, but are being expanded to meet growing demand. I commend MTA Chairman Lhota for making a little go a long way and responding to the needs of our growing Brooklyn communities,” said Senator Dilan, ranker Senate Transportation Committee.

July 20, 2012
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SQUADRON ANNOUNCES MAJOR TRANSIT RESTORATIONS IN BROOKLYN, MANHATTAN

Squadron, Stakeholders, MTA to Design New Brooklyn Tech Triangle Bus Route, New Williamsburg Waterfront Route, Both to Begin in 2013

Squadron: Restorations Also Include B39 Service Over Williamsburg Bridge, Permanent G Train Extension, M9 Extension to Battery Park City

NEW YORK -- Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron announced that the MTA will make major bus and train service expansions and restorations in and between Brooklyn and Manhattan, including a brand new Brooklyn Tech Triangle bus route for which Sen. Squadron and stakeholders will lead the planning effort. The MTA will also establish a new bus route along the Williamsburg waterfront, which will be designed in consultation with community stakeholders and begin in mid-2013. Senator Squadron, his colleagues, and the community have been working with the MTA to advocate for these new routes, and for the restoration of services that were cut in 2010.

July 19, 2012
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Senator Zeldin Votes to Repeal MTA Payroll Tax for Self-Employed Individuals

New York State Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley) speaks on the Senate Floor in support of Senate Bill 7165-A, sponsored by Senator Greg Ball, that will repeal the MTA Tax for self-employed individuals earning $250,000 a year or less. The bill passed the New York State Senate on June 20, 2012.

July 18, 2012
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