NYC Mayor Wants To Tax The Wealthy To Fund Subway Repairs
08 August, 2017, 00:24 | Author: Paula Vaughn
New York City's mayor wants to tax the wealthiest 1 percent of city residents to fund repairs and improvements to the beleaguered subway system.
De Blasio's call for a "mansion tax" on transfers of city apartments above $2 million also failed. De Blasio reiterated his skepticism on Monday, while admitting that he hadn't been briefed on the policy for years. The governor offered to split the cost of the plan with the city, but the mayor refused to commit money to support it.
City officials estimate the increased tax rate on the city's wealthy would generate an additional $700 million to $800 million a year. "We can not ask New Yorkers to wait one year to start repairs", he said. It would increase the city's highest income tax rate by about half a percentage point, to 4.4 percent from about 3.9 percent, for married couples with incomes above $1 million and individuals who make more than $500,000.
"We need a millionaire's tax so that New Yorkers who typically travel in first class pay their fair share so the rest of us can get around, so the rest of us can get to work, so that the rest of us can live our lives here in this city", de Blasio said during a press conference on Monday, calling it "a fair fix for New Yorkers".
Cuomo and his newly appointed MTA chairman Joe Lhota, in separate statements issued Sunday, noted that de Blasio's plan would require legislative approval that could take up to a year to garner approval.
"The City should partner with us and match the State funding now so we can begin Chairman Lhota's overhaul plan immediately and move forward", Cuomo said in his statement.
For his annual State of the State speech in 2018, Mr. Cuomo's office was exploring how it might introduce different forms of so-called congestion pricing, including fees on for-hire vehicles, according to a Cuomo administration official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. It would affect just under 1% of people filing taxes in the city.
The MTA is now asking the city to kick in $228 million to fund emergency repairs to the system to stop the frequent meltdowns that have plagued commuters this summer, but de Blasio doubled down on his previous claims the the state already has plenty to pay for it and it is not the city's responsibility.
All told, the tax would apply to an estimated 32,000 tax filers, less than one percent of the city's population, according to City Hall.
John Raskin, executive director of the transit-advocacy group the Riders Alliance, told Fox Business in a statement he supports the mayor's plan.
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