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Stringer Proposes Reviving NYC Commuter Tax

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer wants the New York State Legislature to revive the long-dead New York City commuter tax, WCBS 880's Paul Murnane reported on Tuesday.

WCBS 880's Paul Murnane On The Story


The tax, which is essentially an income tax levied upon those who work in the city but don't live in the city, has been dead for 13 years. It was alive for 33 years prior to that.

Under Stringer's proposal, it would be levied at the 1999 rate of 0.45 percent for most commuters. The proposal would shift the mortgage tax that now covers the MTA's operating expenses to the agency's capital plan.

Stringer, who many believe to be a likely candidate for mayor, said that his office estimates the restored tax could generate up to $725 million a year for mass transit.

Stringer said he believes suburbanites would support the tax because it would benefit mass transit in both the five boroughs and the New York suburbs.

"Let's build a regional transportation system. Let's fund it in a sound way, bring back what we lost. But you too will benefit," Stringer told Murnane. "If fares continue to rise at the current clip, my newborn son Max will pay $200 for an unlimited MetroCard by the time he graduates high school - double today's cost."

The MTA, for its part, isn't ready to jump on the bandwagon just yet.

"We're glad that he started this conversation and we hope it continues," MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg told Murnane. "But we're not prepared to endorse or propose any specific proposals."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called the idea "penny-wise and pound-foolish'' and said it would hurt New York's economy - not to mention hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents who work there. Christie made his comments Tuesday at a news conference in Bedminster.

How do you feel about the proposal? Sound off in the comments section below.

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