State Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley) released the following statement in response to a report on MTA payroll by the Empire Center for NYS Policy:
"Once again, a new report has been released highlighting the MTA's continued fiscal mismanagement. This time the issue is with the MTA's payroll. Whether it’s increasing payroll expenses, excessive salaries for administration, or abusive overpayments to employees, the MTA continues to come up short in bringing the expense side of the ledger in line with the revenue side of the ledger.
The MTA blames an arbitrator's award to union members as the cause while completely failing to acknowledge other relevant factors like the fact that top MTA brass and overtime abusers still make over $230,000 per year.
State Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R,C,I – Shirley), said today that Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s on-going audits of MTA operations are further proof that the MTA does not need to cut services or raise fares when the MTA Payroll Tax is phased out. Senator Zeldin and Comptroller DiNapoli have recently initiated dialogue with regards to the MTA's finances.
Senator Zeldin has led the fight to repeal the job-killing MTA Payroll Tax, which was enacted in 2009 to bail out the MTA. The Senate approved Senator Zeldin’s bill to phase-out the MTA Payroll Tax (S.5596-A/A.8193-A) with a bi-partisan 40-22 vote on June 15, 2011. The Assembly Democratic leadership, however, has not yet allowed a vote on the legislation despite broad bi-partisan support in their house as well.
Identifying the MTA Payroll Tax as one of the biggest obstacles to creating jobs on Long Island, State Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I -Shirley) said today that the Governor’s Regional Economic Development team should make repeal of the MTA Payroll Tax it’s top legislative priority to promote economic growth.
“The MTA Payroll Tax is called a ‘job-killer’ for good reason,” said Senator Zeldin. “It’s an ill conceived tax on every existing job in the MTA region.”
The Cuomo Administration has begun to turn its attention to economic development now that the regular 2011 Legislative Session is over. The Governor is assembling regional economic teams to develop and promote new business activity and job creation.
State Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley) released the following statement in response to Jay Walder's resignation as MTA Chairman:
“While many improvements were made to the MTA under Chairman Walder's tenure, much more work needs to be done.
Here are a dozen suggestions for the next Chairman:
1) Prepare for life after the MTA Payroll Tax. Chairman Walder said it was "impossible", which was simply the wrong answer;
2) Cap the salaries of all MTA employees to no more than Governor Cuomo's salary. The amount of individuals making over $200,000, especially Chairman Walder's $350,000, is insulting to all taxpayers in the 12 county MTA region;
3) Commit to staying in the position through at least December 31, 2014;
The sudden resignation of MTA Chair man Jay Walder gives Gov. Cuomo a tremendous chance to improve the agency. While the MTA has made much progress since Walder's arrival, much more work remains. Walder aggressively pursued cost savings -- including those behind his recent announcement that he'd reduced the MTA's capital deficit by another $2 billion. But the finances of the MTA's capital and operating budgets remain dire.
The taxpayers of the 12-county MTA region need those of us in government to face the host of difficult decisions needed to protect the nation's largest mass-transit system.
Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I –Shirley) announced today that the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) has endorsed his MTA Payroll Tax Repeal legislation.
S.5596-A/A.8193-A passed the New York State Senate on June 15, 2011, with a bi-partisan vote, 40-22. The bill was introduced in the Assembly by Assemblyman George Latimer (D-Rye). Twenty-one other Assembly Members have signed on as co-sponsors of this legislation, including Dean Murray (R, C- East Patchogue), Al Graf (R, C- Holbrook), Dan Losquadro (R, C- Shoreham), and Fred Thiele (I- Sag Harbor).
The New York State School Boards Association released the following statement:
Ronkonkoma, N.Y. – The Business Council of New York State recently released their 2011 Voters’ Guide, which measures New York State legislators’ “Commitment to improving the state’s economic climate and performance by scoring their support for key business legislation during the 2011 session.” Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley) received the Business Council’s highest score.
In 2010, the State Education Department secured Race to the Top Funding from the U.S. Department of Education. In exchange for $700 Million in funding, the state education department made various commitments related to educational standards, testing, a teacher evaluation system, and data collection.