Joint Statement by Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Transportation Chair James Vacca, Finance Chair Dominic Recchia and State and Federal Legislation Chair Helen Diane Foster

Re: Proposed Mobility Tax Increase

– Statement from Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn –

“Governor Paterson’s proposal to increase the MTA payroll tax on New York City employers by nearly 60% is outrageous and simply unfair.

“The additional tax increase on City employers – including businesses, the non-profit sector, and the City government – would suffocate growth and job creation in the City just as we are on the cusp of recovery from worst economic downturn in generations. City employers should not have to pay for forecasting errors by State Dept of Taxation and Finance.

“The transit system benefits not just employers in the City, but also those in the suburban MTA counties where many users of MTA commuter railroads and busses live and work. Those communities will suffer as well if job creation is choked off by an inequitable tax burden on City employers.

“Enough is enough. We urge in the strongest possible terms that the Governor and Legislature reconsider this proposal.”

– Statement from Transportation Committee Chair James Vacca –

“Only weeks ago the Governor stated that he would not raise taxes, and here he is putting forth a multimillion-dollar tax increase that not only unfairly targets New York City, but also hits local businesses at a time when thousands of people are desperate for a job. Meanwhile, we continue to see reports of cost overruns, uncollected fees, and general mismanagement at the MTA. Raising taxes so we can throw more money at this agency is obviously not the answer.”

– Statement from Finance Committee Chair Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. –

“Tax increases and vital service cuts on a City crawling into economic stability is offensive. Now, the governor has proposed to raise the mobility tax for New York City, but to spare all New Yorkers above the Bronx and east of Queens. We in the City of New York will not stand for clear unequal treatment.

“The City Council saw this MTA budget crisis coming and we proposed a plan that would help alleviate their deficit, a plan that would save student metro cards, save our senior transportation and not raise our mobility tax. Our tolls, metro fares and taxes are already some of the highest in the state.

“I am going to work with our City’s Assembly and Senate representatives in Albany to ensure we are treated fairly and we will not be taken advantage.”

– Statement from State and Federal Legislation Chair Helen Diane Foster –

“The proposed mobility tax increase will strangle our City’s economic recovery and hurt growth in our neighborhoods. We will not allow for a state budget that disproportionately harms our City. Cutting our city’s vital services, while still raising taxes puts an unfair burden on New Yorkers.

“I will work side by side with our representatives in Albany to ensure we are given a fair and balanced budget in the state.”