Senator Lee M. Zeldin Announces First Phase of MTA Payroll Tax Repeal and Full Repeal of the Saltwater Fishing License in Senate Budget Resolution

Lee M. Zeldin

March 15, 2011

Albany, NY- Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R, C, I- Shirley) welcomed passage of today’s Senate Budget Resolution as an important first step in restoring New York’s economy and achieving several of the important initiatives for Long Islanders that he has been fighting for since taking office in January.

“I made clear from the beginning of the Budget process that I would not support any new taxes or fees,” said Senator Zeldin. “Today’s Senate Budget Resolution remains faithful to this commitment by avoiding any tax and fee increases while providing the foundation for a fiscally responsible on-time budget.

“I am also proud that this Budget Resolution includes many important priorities for my district, including: the first phase in repealing the MTA payroll tax, repeal of the saltwater fishing license, the restoration of funds for the Stony Brook Veterans Home, and a more equitable distribution of school aid, “ Zeldin said.

The Senate Budget Resolution repeals the MTA Payroll Tax for public and private schools, as well as full repeal of the Saltwater Fishing License. Senator Zeldin has been leading the fight to eliminate both of these taxes.

“Under the Senate Resolution, the Saltwater Fishing License and fee will end with the expiration of the current 2011 license,” said Senator Zeldin. “The Resolution also provides for fully exempting public and private schools from the MTA Payroll Tax – the first steps in my efforts to completely eliminate this job killing tax.  Exempting schools also removes a school district operating cost, which is paid for by property taxes.”

Senator Zeldin also pointed out that the Senate Resolution requires the MTA to submit to a full scale forensic audit within 60 days of enactment of the State Budget.  The audit results should provide hundreds of millions more in savings that can be used to support complete repeal of the MTA payroll tax for every employer in the MTA Region.

In addition to these tax relief initiatives, the Senate Budget Resolution also adds approximately $500 million in additional assistance for schools by making school aid distribution more equitable and rejecting more unfunded mandates on local school districts paid for by property taxpayers.  This improvement to the Governor’s Budget proposal makes his education aid cuts more equitable around the state.  In order to provide the most efficient quality education for our students, we must continue to implement real structural changes including unfunded mandate relief, and more shared services. The Budget also restores money for vital programs at SUNY Stony Brook, fully restores funding to the Stony Brook Burn Center, as well as fully restoring funds to the Long Island State Veterans Home.

“We have presented a budget blueprint that controls spending, reduces taxes, and promotes private sector job creation,” said Senator Zeldin.  

“ It is my sincere hope that the legislature and the Governor reach an on time Budget agreement by April 1, 2011.”