Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

October 16, 2009

Photo caption: Senator Fuschillo (second right) joins with local small businesses, non-profit organizations, and local libraries in calling on Governor Paterson to repeal the MTA payroll tax. Senator Fuschillo was also joined by fellow Senators Kemp Hannon (third right), Owen Johnson (fourth right), Carl Marcellino (right) and John Flanagan (back center).

State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) recently called on Governor Paterson to repeal the MTA payroll tax which is driving up costs on local small business owners and local non-profit organizations. Many of these businesses and non-profit organizations, along with representatives from local libraries, joined Senator Fuschillo and Senators Kemp Hannon, Owen Johnson, Carl Marcellino, and John Flanagan in rallying to repeal the tax.

“Small businesses are struggling to stay alive and non-profits are having serious problems funding their service programs. At a time when people are desperate for jobs and more in need of social services, this payroll tax will lead to more layoffs and force more cuts to service programs. Governor Paterson needs to repeal this costly tax immediately,” said Senator Fuschillo, who voted against the payroll tax when it came before the State Senate for a vote.

The MTA payroll tax imposes a tax of 34 cents for every $100 in salary for every employer in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, including small businesses, not-for-profit agencies, local governments, libraries, hospitals, and nursing homes. School districts will also have to pay the payroll tax, and while the law intends to reimburse school districts for the costs, there is no legal requirement that this be done. Employers must make their first payment under the payroll tax on November 2nd. The payment retroactively covers the period between March 1st and September 30th. All told, the MTA payroll tax will cost Long Island $229 million in calendar year 2010 according to the State Comptroller's Office.

           Bob McGuire, Executive Director of the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County, who safely estimates that the MTA payroll tax will cost his non-profit $100,000, said, “In a time where the economy is putting such tremendous stress on all aspects of our lives, placing this added burden on non-profits is devastating.” UCPN is an independent, not-for-profit health agency serving over 1800 children and adults with cerebral palsy, developmental and other disabilities.

Richard Bivone, Chairman of the LI Business Council, said, “This tax is crippling businesses on Long Island and exemplifies how the system has failed the people of New York.  The MTA payroll tax is killing any hope new businesses have to open, while encouraging existing businesses to take the train right off Long Island.”

Long Island Cares, a non-profit organization which provides food to Nassau and Suffolk residents who have fallen on hard times,  estimates that the $4,000 they will lose because of the payroll tax costs the equivalent of providing 4,300 meals to families in need

              Senator Fuschillo also noted that the payroll tax applies to county, town, and village governments as well, which adds up to a combined $9 million unfunded mandate that will ultimately be paid for by local taxpayers.

             “Nassau and Suffolk County governments, along with every town and village, will have to pay this tax as well. Once again, the Governor is forcing taxpayers who are already at the breaking point to foot the bill,” Senator Fuschillo added.