Published: Tue, August 08, 2017
Money | By Oscar Reynolds

Bill de Blasio Will Push for Tax on Wealthy to Fix Subway

Bill de Blasio Will Push for Tax on Wealthy to Fix Subway

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo agree that the Big Apple's subway system is deteriorating and in need of urgent fix. The tax would bump the top income rate from 3.9% to 4.4% for couples who make more than $1 million per year and individuals who make more than $500,000.

"Rather than sending the bill to working families and subway and bus riders already feeling the pressure of rising fares and bad service, we are asking the wealthiest in our city to chip in a little extra to help move our transit system into the 21st century", said de Blasio in a statement.

"The good news is that Mayor de Blasio has acknowledged New York City's significant ownership of the New York City Transit Authority and the fact that new funding is needed to modernize the subway system", Mr. Lhota said in a statement.

"A millionaires' tax would require some New Yorkers to pay, but the status quo requires literally millions of New Yorkers to pay in the form of lost wages, missed work and days ruined by breakdowns and delays".

Subway power outages, long delays and even a derailed subway vehicle led New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency for the system back in June. He said the state and city have short-changed the MTA for years, and a temporary tax would generate about $2 billion.

"New funding streams to support these needs should come from motorists-who are not contributing their fair share to the MTA-through congestion pricing or other charges for motor vehicle use", stated CBC President Carol Kellermann.

It would affect about 32,000 of New Yorkers filing taxes in the city, or just less than 1 percent, officials said. De Blasio's plan also includes funding to offer half-price fare cards for low-income riders.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph Lhota recently unveiled an emergency plan to stabilize the system. "We can not ask New Yorkers to wait one year to start repairs", he said. As many as 800,000 New Yorkers are expected to qualify based on income levels.

The MTA also attacked the mayor's move, complaining that Chairman Joe Lhota "learned about this proposal from reading it in The New York Times", and arguing that the tax would delay the emergency initiatives already under way.

John Raskin, executive director of the transit-advocacy group the Riders Alliance, told Fox Business in a statement he supports the mayor's plan. "And those struggling the most will see their fares cut in half", de Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips said on Twitter.

The plan would require approval from state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Like this: