NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled today a progressive City tax proposal aimed at raising as much as $800 million annually for New York City’s deteriorating subway and bus system. The proposed tax adjustment – levied on fewer than 1% of the city’s wealthiest tax filers – would also allow the City to cut in half subway and bus fares paid by 800,000 low-income New Yorkers.
“Rather than sending the bill to working families and subway and bus riders already feeling the pressure of rising fares and bad service, we are asking the wealthiest in our city to chip in a little extra to help move our transit system into the 21st century,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Instead of searching for a quick-fix that doesn’t exist, or simply forking over more and more of our tax dollars every year, we have come up with a fair way to finance immediate and long-term transit improvement and to better hold the State accountable for the system’s performance. Our subways and buses are the veins that make life in the greatest city in the world possible. This fair funding source will provide immediate help to straphangers – and it will help New Yorkers get around our city reliably for the next generation and beyond.”
The new tax would increase the City’s highest income tax rate by 0.534%, from 3.876% to 4.41%, on taxable incomes above $500,000 for individuals and above $1 million for couples.
This tax will be paid by an estimated 32,000 New York City tax filers – 0.8% of the city’s filers. The tax is projected to raise $700 million in 2018, before rising to $820 million a year by 2022. This new investment will add on to an annual $1.6 billion in City operational support for subways and buses, and a $2.5 billion commitment in 2015 to the long-term needs of the MTA.
The $500 million in revenue dedicated to modernizing our aging subways and buses could support borrowing up to $8 billion for capital upgrades. The Mayor believes this funding should be immediately directed toward core infrastructure improvements like signal improvements, new cars and track maintenance key to reducing delays and disruptions that have paralyzed the system in recent months.
Half-priced MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers will be financed by an expected $250 million of the revenue raised by this tax. As many as 800,000 New Yorkers are expected to qualify for half-priced MetroCards based on their income levels.
MTA Chairman Joe Lhota is against making the rich pay for MTA problems and also cited he needs the money now to fix the MTA problems and not next year.
Gov. Cuomo is against Mayor de Blasio plan for right now. This is an election year and New Yorkers are very skeptical. Where is the accountability for how MTA money is spent on transit needs? Track fires cause delays and instead of cleaning the tracks every 3 months the tracks are now being cleaned every 8 months according to MTA employees. Who was the genius that decided to prolong track cleaning? Delays cost money.
Logic would dictate to clean tracks faster to PREVENT track fires which in effect reduces delays.
Mismanagement, waste of tax dollars and throwing money at problems is never a real solution.
During the Presidential election, the Democrats were constantly trashing rich people as if it’s a crime to be rich. Whatever happened to the American dream of working hard, earning money, saving money and spending money the way one chooses?
Voters are tired of government nickel and diming everyone due to their own incompetence of spending public money.
The Democratic rhetoric of attacking the rich during the presidential elections worked out so well that they helped President Trump win by alienating so many due to dumb policies. It’s an election year for Mayor de Blasio. Let’s see how well this new attack on the rich to fix the MTA system will work out.
Full video of Press conference with Q & A