Latest MTA Rescue Plan Would Raise Taxes on Car Rentals

The latest state Senate plan to save the MTA is facing lot of criticism. And the car rental companies haven't even begun to weigh in. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman reports.

REPORTER: Governor Paterson tacked on an extra percentage point to the car rental tax to help balance his budget. The Senate's MTA bill would add another five percent. If signed into law, it would cost 19 percent in taxes. That would be the fifth highest in the nation. John Barrows of the Avis Budget Group says the tax will hit locals as well as visitors.

BARROWS: There's a fairly substantial number of people who do not own automobiles and rely on rental cars for weekend getaways and for their transportation needs.

REPORTER: Senate staff say the extra sales tax would bring in another $35 million and help prevent a large MTA fare hike and service cuts. The Senate expects to introduce the bill officially next week. Its fate is uncertain. For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.