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Mayor Brudie Supports Bill to Repeal MTA Payroll Tax

Residents encouraged to write local officials to pass legislation

Mayor Brudie called upon Garden City residents to consider writing their local and state officials to support recently introduced legislation to repeal the MTA Payroll Tax in order to give relief to Long Island taxpayers.

Enacted in 2009, the MTA Payroll Tax requires local businesses, municipalities and school districts to pay 34 cents for every $100 of their payrolls to help dig the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) out of a $1 billion deficit. The tax affects all businesses and municipalities, school districts and nonprofit organizations that have a payroll and hospitals within the areas that are serviced by the MTA, including Nassau County.

Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that exempted the MTA Payroll Tax for certain entities, including businesses, with a payroll of $1.25 million or less as well as all private and public schools. Nearly 80 percent of all employers received a total elimination and thousands of others received a reduction. Many counties, including Nassau and Suffolk, as well as towns and villages with payrolls over that threshold, are still paying the tax.

On Feb. 3, Senators Martins and Lee M. Zeldin held a press conference in Nassau County to announce legislation to repeal the MTA Payroll Tax for all villages, towns and counties. Joining the senators were Mayor Brudie and numerous elected officials including Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray.

“This tax alone costs our village in the neighborhood of close to $100,000 a year,” Brudie said. “There has been a lot of interest in repealing that tax. The major fighter of that repeal is Senator Jack Martins (former mayor of Mineola) and he’s been doing a great job since he’s gone into office mainly because he is familiar with village government and how things affect the villages,” Brudie said.

Brudie called the tax “burdensome” and says the monies would be better utilized to reduce taxes. “We wouldn’t have to spend the money, it would have a way of reducing taxes. It wouldn’t be much per household… but it would be better to reduce taxes than increase taxes,” Brudie said.

The mayor also encouraged residents to write their local officials to tell them how they feel about the tax. “If you have the time and if you wish, you can write them and ask if the bill can be repealed; write to the majority leader. They have no cognition at all about how it affects little towns, little villages like us,” Brudie said.

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