Town of Ramapo Supervisor Christopher P. St. Lawrence today criticized a new proposal to restore New York City’s commuter tax. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer put forth a proposal to reinstate the tax, which was repealed in 1999. Stringer maintains that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) needs the extra funds to help stabilize its budget.
St. Lawrence noted that Rockland County residents already pay considerably more money to the MTA than the value of the services that they receive in return. A recent study commissioned by the County of Rockland determined that Rockland taxpayers pay $110 million to the MTA; however, the MTA only provides $68 million to the county in services, which results in a value gap of nearly $42 million. Based on the study’s findings, Rockland residents only get back 62 cents for every dollar that they give to the MTA.
“The commuter tax is nothing more than a tariff that unjustly targets suburban commuters,” said Supervisor St. Lawrence. “Instead of looking for a handout and attempting to balance its budget on the backs of the hard-working men and women who travel to work in New York City each day, the MTA would be better served by engaging in internal cost-cutting measures and proven budgetary practices that actually make fiscal sense. Instituting yet another tax on commuters cannot be the solution for the MTA’s budget woes.”
“Rockland residents already pay far more to the MTA than they get in return, and the inequity that presently exists is absolutely unacceptable,” continued St. Lawrence. “Reinstating the commuter tax would be a tremendous slap in the face to the people who are already paying significantly more than their fair share.”