State lawmakers yesterday passed a bill to repeal the Long Island Rail Road’s unpopular new ticket refund policy, which charges a ticket refund surcharge that can cost more than the ticket itself.
By a vote of 62 to 0, the State Senate approved the bill, which would eliminate the $10 processing fee for all LIRR ticket refunds. The bill also increases the period during which customers can apply for a refund from two weeks to six months.
The bill still must pass the State Assembly, where it is currently in the corporations, authorities and commissions committee, before going to the governor to be signed into law.
Long Island employers got a bit of good news earlier this month when the State Senate passed a bill to repeal the MTA payroll tax — shortly after the MTA terminated its contract to operate Long Island Bus and reduced services throughout the Long Island Rail Road system.
New York recently completed an historic legislative session, making significant progress toward returning our state to fiscal health. We balanced the budget, closed a $10 billion deficit by cutting spending and passed a 2 percent property tax cap. The goals were to ease taxpayer burden, spur economic growth and ultimately make New York the kind of place people move to, not away from.
On June 15, 2011, the Senate passed my MTA Payroll Tax repeal legislation (S.5596-A/A.8193-A) with a bi-partisan vote, 40-22.
The job-killing MTA Tax represents one of the worst ideas Albany has ever come up with.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver would not allow a vote on this bill in the State Assembly, despite bi-partisan sponsorship in his house. He is obviously not looking out for the best interests of Nassau County taxpayers.
State Senator Jack M.Martins, State Assemblyman Tom McKevitt and Nassau County Legislator Richard Nicolello met with representatives of the Long Island Railroad recently to discuss a problem that has been facing some residents of Carle Place.
Those residents have asked elected officials for help in getting the railroad reduce the volume of announcements being made aboard trains at the Carle Place train station. Some residents in the area say the announcements are so loud, they can clearly hear them from their homes during off hours.
Senator Jack M. Martins and Senator Lee M. Zeldin held a press conference in Nassau County to announce legislation to repeal the MTA Payroll Tax for all villages, towns and counties. Joining the Senators were numerous elected officials included Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. The legislation result in relief for taxpayers.
As sure as the swallows return to Capistrano, you know it must be spring in New York City when the mayoral candidates declare war on the suburbs. No sooner did we repeal the onerous MTA payroll tax than candidate, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, trotted out his plan for a new and improved commuter tax. I know, I know, it’s not really new. Multiple candidates in every mayoral race suggest it, but Mr. Stringer gets the prize for being the first this year. It’s a sharp political move for them when you think about it: advocate for a tax on those who can’t vote for (or against) you anyway.
Hold on to your hats. I’m going to do something I rarely do and for which I may not have another opportunity for a long time: compliment the MTA, and in particular thank the Long Island Railroad. Usually when I write about them, it’s to bring to light some egregiously wasteful practice or poor decision that further burdens taxpayers or riders. To be sure, there’s still plenty of that devil-may-care attitude there to fuel columns well into the next decade but by the same token, it’s only fair that I point out when the MTA makes progress.
Common sense legislation, sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins, to repeal a processing fee for customers to refund unused Long Island Railroad tickets received wide bi-partisan support as it passed the Senate unanimously Tuesday by a 60-0 vote.
Currently, a customer who purchases a LIRR ticket and doesn’t use it has to pay a $10 processing fee just to receive a refund. In many cases, the refund costs more than the ticket itself. In addition, the current policy gives customers only 14 days to use a ticket or 30 days to seek a refund. Senator Martins’ bill (S.3778D) eliminates the $10 processing fee to return an unused ticket and gives customers a full six months after the purchase date to either use the ticket or receive a full refund.