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Rail News: Passenger Rail

New York MTA to appeal judge's ruling against payroll mobility tax


Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) officials said yesterday they will appeal a New York State Supreme Court judge’s ruling that declared the regional payroll mobility tax to be unconstitutional.

The judge’s ruling “is erroneous” and the agency will “vigorously appeal it and we expect it will be overturned,” MTA officials said in a statement posted on the MTA website.

State Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cozzens Jr. ruled that the law violated the home-rule clause of the New York State Constitution. In May 2009, the State Legislature approved the tax in 2009 as a way to fund the agency’s operations. The tax affects employers in New York City, and Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Dutchness, Orange, Rockland and Putnam counties.

“Removing more than $1.2 billion in revenue from the payroll mobility tax, plus hundreds of millions of dollars more from other taxes affected by yesterday's ruling, would be catastrophic for the MTA and for the economy of New York State,” agency officials said.

Without the tax or another reliable and stable source of funding, the agency would have to implement “a combination of extreme service cuts and fare hikes,” they said.

“The MTA is getting its fiscal house in order,” officials said. “We have cut more than $700 million from our annual operating budget and eliminated 3,500 jobs. We are on track for this year's discretionary spending to actually be lower than last year's.”

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/24/2012