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Gov. David Paterson, you must be kidding. Your plan to balance the MTA budget by raising the taxes on New York City businesses while reducing suburban taxes is disgraceful.
The MTA says it is facing a $350 million shortfall. Paterson’s solution is to raise the payroll tax on city businesses by 59 percent while cutting in half payroll taxes in 12 other counties.
Did the beleaguered governor think no one in the city would notice? Is this some kind of ploy to win votes in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties?
Mayor Michael Bloomberg led the charge: “The idea that the state can spare the suburbs while sacking the city is terrible economics, grossly unfair and contrary to every principle of good regional development.”
When times get tough, politicians — usually upstate — look to “tax the rich” in New York City. There are three problems with this. First, the governor’s tax proposal will hurt the middle class and wealthy. Second, taxes will drive businesses away from the city. Third, this proposal is unfair.
If payroll taxes must be increased, do it across the board. But first look for ways to cut costs. City agencies have done this with success. For example, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli reported the MTA paid $577 million for overtime last year. Some workers earned income that was more than 300 percent of their regular annual salary. That is the result of bad planning.
Another report said the MTA lost billions of dollars by letting contractors get away with shoddy workmanship. It seems to us and the mayor that the MTA can find ways to save money without increasing payroll taxes.
Hit the Road, Hiram
For the first time since the Civil War, the Senate gave the boot to one of its own. It voted 53-8 last week to expel Sen. Hiram Monserrate.
Taking such strong action against one of their own was not easy. Monserrate said he would challenge the vote in court.
He may succeed. It is unclear whether or not the Senate has the authority to act in this way.
Whether or not the expulsion is upheld, senators on both sides of the aisle showed they are willing to take a stand against domestic violence and political renegades.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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