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Mayor Brudie Helps Introduce Bill to End MTA Payroll Tax

Legislation aimed at providing relief for all Long Island taxpayers.

Garden City mayor Don Brudie joined senators Jack Martins and Lee Zeldin on Friday as they introduced a bill (S-6206) to exempt all counties, towns and villages from having to pay the MTA payroll tax.

The senators are introducing the bill as a way to provide tax relief to municipalities that are still required to pay the .34 percent tax per $100 of payroll to pay the MTA.

Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that exempted the MTA payroll tax for entities, including businesses, with a payroll of $1.25 million or less as well as all private and public schools - more than 700,000 of the taxpayers who were paying it. Approximately 80 percent of all employers received a total elimination, according to a county press release, while thousands of others received a reduction. Many counties, however, including Nassau and Suffolk, as well as towns and villages with payrolls over that threshold, are still paying the tax.

“Property taxpayers paying for village, town and county services should not have their hard earned tax dollars diverted to subsidize the MTA through this payroll tax,” Sen. Martins said. “We need to alleviate some of the burdens placed on our local governments. This legislation does that and the result will be relief for our taxpayers, something we desperately need.”

In addition to this bill, Sen. Martins is also sponsoring a bill (S-6079A) that repeals the MTA payroll tax for all libraries. This will allow for libraries to provide more services to the community instead of having to support the MTA. “Repealing it for libraries would free up limited resources and allow libraries to enhance their services for the community,” he said.

“In December, the Senate Republicans under the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, working closely with Governor Andrew Cuomo and supportive Assembly members, were able to secure an elimination of the MTA payroll tax for 80 percent of all employers forced to pay the MTA tax. Now, we are taking the next step with the Martins-Zeldin bills to exempt all municipalities outside New York City, as well as all libraries throughout the MTA region. Senator Martins and I are working hard with our Senate and Assembly colleagues to even further eliminate this ill-conceived tax on jobs," Sen. Zeldin, R,C,I-Shirley, said. “Meanwhile, we support and encourage the MTA’s progress to become efficient and reduce operating costs.”

Nassau County alone pays more than $3 million for the MTA payroll tax.

“In times of economic stress, it's vital that government remove obstacles to job growth. While I applaud the governor and state legislature for repealing the MTA job-killing payroll tax for small businesses; I call upon them to join Senator Martins and I in supporting the full repeal of this onerous tax that impacts the wallets’ of every homeowner in Nassau County. The full repeal of this job-killing tax will provide direct relief to municipalities and thus the taxpayers they represent," Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said.

Nassau County Village Officials Association commends Sen. Martins for sponsoring the bill, according to president Ralph Kreitzman.

"The legislature's prior action in ending this tax for some villages but not others was arbitrary and unwarranted. The tax is yet another example of an unfunded mandate - a requirement imposed on a local municipality, the cost of which is imposed on its residents which too often results in increased real property taxes. In today's harsh economic times, villages must devote their limited resources to providing services our residents need and desire," he said.

The bill, S-6206, is now in the Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations.

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