Assemblymen Joseph Saladino and Ed Ra joined Nassau Community College officer in charge Dr. Kenneth Saunders and members of the college’s student government at a press conference Tuesday intended to bring more attention to a bill that would repeal the MTA payroll tax from both Nassau and Suffolk community colleges.
“At a time when families are struggling to afford to pay for college, tuition costs should not be increased to support inefficiencies at the MTA,” said Saladino.
If the bill (A10187) passes it would save Nassau Community College more than $400,000 each year and Suffolk Community College more than $390,000, according to Saladino.
“For far too long, the MTA has used taxpayers, businesses, school districts and our colleges as an ATM, and the time to repeal this devastating tax is long overdue,” Saladino said. “The thought of rising costs for Long Island’s students and their families so the MTA may continue such inefficiencies is unconscionable.”
Dr. Saunders agreed. “At a time when our goals here at NCC are to provide our students with a high quality higher education and pathways to opportunity, and to do so within the necessary boundaries of a balanced budget, efforts like this one show how much our supporters in the Legislature understand that lightening the financial burdens on community colleges will make it easier for us to achieve our goals,” he said.
Even with other cost increases, Saladino said the tax elimination would help keep tuition costs steady. “We shouldn’t charge students more to pay for the pension abuses and irregularities concerning over the top costs for the MTA,” he said.
Assemblyman Ra also spoke in favor of the elimination. “This is a cost that is going to continue to increase in the future. That is money that can be spent much better by this institution that has developed a reputation for decades of providing a great, high quality and cost effective education right here to our residents of Nassau County,” he said. “We hope that by lifting this burden off of them we’ll be able to allow them to spend that money better.”