Recalling 2009, Long Island lawmakers oppose MTA tax hike

Yancey Roy

February 07, 2023

Originally published in Newsday on February 07, 2023.

ALBANY — An increase in the MTA payroll tax, recently proposed by Gov. Kathy Hochul, won’t impact nearly as many employers as it did when implemented in 2009. But political opposition might be just as loud from suburban lawmakers who want to block it.

It’s one issue that appears to unite Long Island Democrats and Republicans in the State Legislature.

“I don’t want to put added fiscal stress on Long Islanders, and this mobility tax, or whatever they call it, will do just that,” State Sen. Kevin Thomas (D-Levittown) said. “What is the need for this?”

At issue is Hochul's call to increase the top tax rate on a payroll tax that is paid by some employers in the 12-county region serviced by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The Democratic governor said the hike is needed to help the MTA recover from a huge deficit triggered in part by a steep decline in subway and train ridership during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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