John J. Bonacic

May 06, 2009

May 6, 2009:  After a secret conference behind closed doors, three New York City Democrats abandoned a plan to only charge Orange County businesses with a portion of their payroll tax and have now decided to hit local businesses with the same tax rate businesses in the City and immediate suburbs will pay. 

Any payroll tax was lousy.  But to tax our region at the same level as a business in Manhattan, while offering virtually no mass transit services, is disgusting and indicative of the self-serving, let them eat cake attitude of these officials.  If anyone wondered whether the State’s Democrat party bosses care about the Mid-Hudson Valley – or any area North of Westchester County, that question has been answered and the answer is a resounding NO,” Senator Bonacic said. 

Paterson, Silver, and Smith have repeatedly campaigned on the premise that the State is “One New York”.  However, the triumvirate of New York City Democrats, who have taken to negotiating all major policy decisions behind closed doors this year, have repeatedly taken actions openly hostile to middle class Hudson Valley interests.    This year they have taxed SUNY tuition, taxed energy, taxed healthcare premiums, taxed wine, and beer, eliminated property tax rebates, and hiked income taxes all while failing to take actions on school property taxes.  

“The Governor, Senate Majority Leader, and Assembly Speaker talk about New York being one State.  Yet they offer no mass transit services to our area, all while taxing us at the same rate as those who have access to  subways, buses, and near constant rail service,” Bonacic said. 

Paterson, Smith, and Silver further stifled any debate on the measure by allowing an immediate vote on it – throwing the Constitutional requirement of “aging” the bill for three days under the bus.  Paterson claimed an immediate vote was necessary, and Smith and Silver – and every single Democrat in the Senate, obliged.  The effect was to deny any independent analysis of the MTA bailout plan.   

Bonacic pointed out that Silver and Smith gain their power from the other Senators and Assembly members.  “You cannot vote for Sheldon Silver and Malcolm Smith to run the Assembly and Senate without being complicit in their taxes and their failure to openly address the issues that matter to those of us in the Hudson Valley.   It is not enough to simply vote no on the legislation they craft.  You need to vote no on the leadership.  If you don’t, you become an enabler of their bad policies, secretive practices, and tax raising actions,” Senator Bonacic said.   

The total bailout, over $2.25 billion, is expected to be raised as follows:

- $1.5 billion will be generated by a payroll tax in the MTA area (Orange, Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland, Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk Counties and New York City).  The payroll tax will be .34 percent for every $100 in payroll;

- $261 million will be generated through fees (registration, car rental, license) and a 50-cent taxi drop-off;

- $500 million will be generated by the fare hikes through 2013.

"I can only surmise that by 2013, the MTA will have so mismanaged, stumbled, eaten away, and wasted this money that another bailout is probably already being hatched.” concluded Senator Bonacic.

See Senator Bonacic's Comments on You Tube on the MTA: