Photo credit: @julesdwit.
A not-for-profit media organization supported by people like you.
South Ferry Terminal
(Courtesy of the MTA)
Ted Mann, transportation reporter for the Wall Street Journal's Greater New York section, talks about the judge’s ruling against the MTA payroll tax.
CK from Yorktown: Yes, there are tolls on some bridges. The problem is that there are some bridges without tolls, and that distorts traffic patterns all over the city. Broadway Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge are examples of toll-free bridges that invite toll-shopping, to the detriment of surrounding neighborhoods.
Is the tax paid for by the worker, the employer, or split ? I have heard both sides so far..35 cents/ $ 100 max doesnt seem so bad , its much less than tolls to drive into NYCWe need more public transportation.
I'm generally not a "don't tax meeeee!!!!" person, but I hated paying the MTA tax as a freelancer. I got emails about it a few times a month and it didn't apply to all of my income, so at some point in the year, I just wrote them a check for 200 bucks and called it a day. I ended up owing them less than my accountant would have charged me if I'd gone into her for a visit -- if I'd actually taken it seriously and paid them quarterly, it really would have cost me a bunch in fees.
I don't mind taxes that I have to add in at the end of the year, but I found this tax really annoying. It no longer applies to certain types of freelancers, including me. I want the MTA to be financially healthy, but it was really just an annoying way to collect a tax.
I'm not against the tax (and I live in the burbs) but I think that if the MTA were better managed, less wasteful this would be better accepted. I would also suggest that if the cost is higher, maybe the fares need to bump up to cover more.
And Peter: there is a fee for bridges. $6.50 both ways yesterday to go into and out of the Bronx to visit IKEA. So that tax to shop in an store in the area was $13.
Suburbanites probably use the MTA (NYCTA, LIRR, Metro-North) more than people in the city do (who only use NYCTA). I'm scratching my head on how people in the suburbs are being treated unfairly.
I am playing devil's advocate here, but could this decision encourage businesses to be better distributed across the state? The New York City metropolitan area dominates the NY state economy. If transportation and housing costs are so high here, couldn't cities like Rochester, Syracuse and Buffalo benefit? More private businesses instead of reliance upon state employment would help Upstate and Western New York.
Suburbanites don't want to subsidize the MTA? Fine. In exchange, I'd like to stop subsidizing suburban driving habits: Let's have tolls on all bridges into Manhattan, get rid of free on-street parking, and raise the gas tax to a level that's sufficient to pay for road construction and maintenance (bonus points for congestion pricing).
Isn't this ruling a foretaste of what we can expect if Romney wins with majorities in the House and senate? The right wing is ideologically opposed to any collective action that can be avoided (Ayn Rand, etc.) unless the collective is a profit making body like a corporation. The Republican governors who have said no to high speed rail in their states know where their base is on this kind of issue.
Email addresses are required but never displayed.
Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
Subscribe on iTunes
WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York's flagship public radio
stations, broadcasting the finest programs from NPR and PRI, as well as a wide range of award-winning local
programming. WNYC is a division of
New York Public Radio.