No New MTA Taxes
Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio are at each other’s throats again, this time over how to inject new money into the MTA to fund city subways. They’re both wrong.
Cuomo has revived the idea of hefty “congestion pricing” tolls on vehicles traveling into Manhattan, an idea that was shot down when Mayor Mike Bloomberg proposed it a decade ago.
The mayor says he “does not believe” in congestion pricing — hardly surprising, since it’s most hated in the outer boroughs, where he’s courting votes.
So he’s proposing (for at least the third time) a tax hike on the city’s high earners — which the governor immediately labeled “dead on arrival,” while insisting his own proposal is “feasible.”
But any way you look at it, congestion pricing amounts to a tax on those who work in Manhattan but live elsewhere — as much of a tax, in fact, as the one de Blasio wants.
And the last thing beleaguered New Yorkers, already the most heavily taxed people in the nation, need at this point is more taxation.
Then, too, what the mayor and the governor are proposing both constitute permanent revenue streams — not the immediate cash the MTA says it most needs.
Indeed, Cuomo likely won’t even unveil the details of his plan before next January’s State of the State address, other than to say it won’t involve East River bridge tolls.
Besides, as the Manhattan Institute’s Nicole Gelinas has noted repeatedly in these pages, the MTA is hardly short of revenue — and simply throwing more money at the agency won’t solve its problems.
Despite some recent shortfalls, the MTA’s tax take has doubled in the last decade — and its total income this year is a staggering $15.6 billion. Yet it’s saddled with debt because of bad decisions and mismanagement, and faces looming deficits.
Fixing the MTA has to come from within. If subways need more cash, take it from existing sources. Whether it’s tolls, fees or taxes, New Yorkers already pay too much.
This editorial originally appeared in the New York Post
This piece originally appeared in New York Post