Andrew Hevesi/Marcia Bystryn op-ed From the Daily News:
State Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cozzens’ recent ruling that the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax was unconstitutional is a dangerous decision that cannot be allowed to stand.
This tax — sometimes known as the payroll tax — was enacted by the Legislature in 2009 for the 12 counties in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority region to close a $1.8 billion dollar operating budget shortfall. We are pleased that Gov. Cuomo and the MTA have decided to appeal this decision, and by doing so have shown that they understand the gravity of this potential loss for all New Yorkers. Their efforts, which we fully support, must be successful.
While we understand that this particular tax is imposed on small and large businesses in the midst of an extremely difficult economic cycle and can appreciate why there are some who were glad to see the judge’s ruling, the unfortunate reality is that the potential loss of this revenue stream will lead our system into massive disrepair and significantly decrease service.
There are only three potential outcomes if the payroll tax is eliminated: Steep fare hikes, deep service cuts with dirtier trains and less maintenance and the elimination of desperately needed upgrades that are in the MTA’s current capital construction plan. None of these scenarios are acceptable.
Maybe instead, Andy and his pals in Albany should stop looting the MTA's funding for tweeding projects.