Saturday, July 1, 2017

Governor Andrew Cuomo Should Bring Back the Commuter Tax

By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz 
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York

You should know that an article titled “City Has to Pay Up If It Wants Better MTA Service, Cuomo Says” written by Ben Fractenberg in the June 23, 2017 edition of DNAInfo begins with the following sentence: “Governor Andrew Cuomo said the city should put its money where its mouth is in funding the MTA to help fix the beleaguered subway system.”

Instead of asking New York City to pay more money into the MTA, wouldn’t it be more responsible for Governor Andrew Cuomo to push for the reinstatement of the Commuter Tax? Shouldn’t our beloved Governor at least pose this as a possibility and open the subject for hearings, studies and political implications?

It is important for you to know that back on May 27, 1999, former New York State Governor George E. Pataki signed a bill into law to repeal the Commuter Tax.

That piece of legislation was rushed through the Senate and Assembly for a vote, with no hearings, no debate and no studies on the tax break for people who commute to New York City, use our police, fire, sanitation, hospital, parks and other municipal services when needed.

The commuter tax used to help defray the cost of municipal services that New York City provides to one and all, and when it was taken away, it was an additional financial burden placed on everyone who lives in the five boroughs of the City to pay for those services.

In other words, people who don’t live in New York City and come here to work and shop, expect for us to host them so they can take advantage of our municipal services, which include our failing subway system.

Now, with all of the problems that the MTA faces, how could Governor Andrew Cuomo say that the citizens of New York City should pay even more money for these services?

Instead, if we reinstate the Commuter Tax, people from Long Island, Westchester, and Upstate New York who come to New York and use our transportation system can help to pull their fair share of the burden.

I urge Governor Cuomo to lead the way, and instead of asking New York City residents to chip in and pay more money, he should really help the City by bringing back the Commuter Tax.

I am Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.


Current State Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz Sr. is running for the 18th City Council seat whose current occupant is term-limited.

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