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MTA Payroll Tax Comes Due

If you didn’t know about the tax on payroll to help fund the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, you do now. The payroll tax has come due Nov. 2 with business owners and municipalities and school districts having to fork over 34 cents for every $100 of payroll. The tax affects all businesses and municipalities including school districts, nonprofit organizations that have a payroll and hospitals within the areas that are serviced by the MTA including Nassau County.

“This is a very unfair tax that will increase the burden on local employers. It is not right for Long Island businesses to be required to pay the same tax rate as a business in New York City. This tax will be a determent to the local economy and inhibit the creation of new jobs, ” said Assemblyman Tom McKevitt, who represents Mineola in the State Assembly and voted against the MTA bailout that included the payroll tax.

Mineola Mayor Jack M. Martins said the Village of Mineola’s payment for the first six months the tax is in effect amounts to $15,000 or $30,000 for a full year. “That’s a salary for a whole new employee that we can’t hire because for some reason, the taxpayers of Mineola are somehow responsible for bailing out the MTA,” Mayor Martins said. “They’re now requiring, through a payroll tax, that the businesses in Mineola take a portion of their revenues even during these tough economic times and pay into a system for which they absolutely have no benefit. That includes our school district, the town, the county and the village as well.”

Mayor Martins believes the MTA should better control its costs than to go to local businesses and municipalities for a tax to support the transportation agency. As Long Island commuters are well aware, Long Island Railroad fares to Penn Station aren’t exactly cheap and yet, the fares don’t seem to be enough to sustain the agency without another tax in the form of a tax on payrolls. “It should be enough,” Mayor Martins said of the fares to the city. “You can almost hire a cab to take you into Manhattan for that. Yet, rather than require the MTA to live within its means, rather than require the MTA to be responsible just like all of us are, they [those in the State Legislature who supported the MTA bailout] rewarded the MTA’s inefficiencies by simply throwing more money at them.”

Richard Bivone, chairman of the LI Business Council, said, “This tax is crippling businesses on Long Island and exemplifies how the system has failed the people of New York. The MTA payroll tax is killing any hope new businesses have to open, while encouraging existing businesses to take the train right off Long Island.”

The tax was due on Nov. 2 for the period covering March 1, 2009 to Sept. 30, 2009. The next due date will be Feb. 1, 2010 for the period covering Oct. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2009.

For 2010 and beyond, the due dates are as follows:

April 30 for period covering Jan. 1 to March 31

July 31 for period covering April 1 to June 30

Oct. 31 for period covering July 1 to Sept. 30

Jan. 31 for period covering Oct. 1 to Dec. 31

“It’s more out-of-control taxation,” said Ed Mangano, the Republican candidate for Nassau County Executive. “Albany has saddled entrepreneurs, businesses, school districts and municipalities with a new tax. Businesses will pass this tax along to the residents of Nassau County, all to lessen the MTA’s intended fare increase; now every Nassau County resident will feel the pain of this tax.”

Democrat Senator Craig Johnson, who represents the 7th Senate District, voted in favor of the MTA bailout plan that included the payroll tax.