TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

NY Times: Bill de Blasio Will Push For Tax On Wealthy To Fix Subway

NYCNew York Times, Bill de Blasio Will Push for Tax on Wealthy to Fix Subway:

Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to push for a tax on wealthy New Yorkers to pay for improvements needed to address the crisis engulfing New York City’s subway, city officials said on Sunday.

The proposal is the latest move in the battle between Mr. de Blasio and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo over who bears responsibility for repairing the deteriorating transit system. The plan would also pay for half-price MetroCards for low-income riders — part of a national movement that has gained momentum in New York.

Mr. de Blasio will announce a so-called millionaires tax on Monday for wealthy New York City residents to pay for subway and bus upgrades and for reduced fares for more riders, an idea that has been successful in Seattle.

His funding push comes as the subway faces a multitude of problems, and leaders at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the subway, have called on Mr. de Blasio to provide more money for the system.

Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Cuomo, who are Democrats and have long had a strained relationship, have engaged in an acrimonious public skirmish over financing for public transit. Mr. Cuomo controls the transportation authority, but he has called on Mr. de Blasio to help fix the system. Both leaders have been under pressure to address the crisis, with worsening subway service hurting Mr. Cuomo’s approval rating among voters, and with Mr. de Blasio being targeted by a harsh television ad campaign by the subway workers union.

“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,” Mr. de Blasio said in a statement.

The tax changes would require approval from state lawmakers in Albany — a difficult hurdle, with Republicans in control of the Senate, though the urgency of the subway’s decline has raised the stakes and captured the attention of both parties....

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I haven't seen Daddy Warbucks (or Donald Trump) on the NYC subway system lately. Given the volume of riders doesn't it make more sense to have a fare increase or a user tax?

Posted by: David | Aug 9, 2017 2:07:38 PM