Statement from State Senator Tony Avella on Mayor de Blasio’s Tax on the Rich to Fund the MTA

Tony Avella

August 07, 2017

Queens, NY – “While the Mayor’s proposal to tax the rich may be an election year gimmick, at least he is starting to focus on the issue. I have always been supportive of taxing the rich to help pay for municipal services, such as mass transit. However, the difficulty in passing such legislation has been in the definition of what constitutes “rich.” The Mayor’s idea is to charge a higher income tax rate for individuals making $500,000 and joint filers over $1 million.

What the Mayor fails to understand is that this tax would affect middle class families and small business owners, many of whom pay their business tax through the personal income tax. I believe any such increased tax rate should start at individuals making over $1 million in taxable income, after appropriate deductions. If the Mayor changes his proposal, I would be happy to support it.

I would also suggest that the Mayor support my long-standing proposal to legalize sports betting in the City, which would generate significantly more money than his idea, $2 billion a year as opposed to $800 million.

Finally, the Mayor should scrap his billion dollar boondoggle idea that is the Brooklyn/Queens tram (BQX) and put that money towards fixing the existing mass transportation.”