MTA Chief: Payroll Tax May Offset Fare Increases

MTA's chief executive thinks there is a good chance that New York's legislature will approve a payroll tax to offset proposed bus and subway fare increases, and "draconian" service cuts. Lee Sander told WNYC's Brian Lehrer that lawmakers seemed "receptive" to imposing a 0.33% tax on the payrolls of companies in the MTA's service area.

SANDER: I would say that I'm pretty optimistic based on the conversations I've had with the state legislature, state assemblymen. I saw a lot of them yesterday at the State of the State speech.

REPORTER: The tax would raise $1.5 billion annually. Sander says the payroll tax would not eliminate the need for a fare hike, but would go a long way toward reducing it. The MTA passed a budget last month that could hike a single bus or subway ride from $2, to $2.50 or even $3.