Monday, November 17, 2008

Bringing Back The Commuter Tax

Bloomberg Budget Director Mark Page today told a hearing of the Council Finance Committee that the administration intends to lobby the State Legislature to reinstate the Commuter tax stolen from the City in 1999. Estimates have the annual value of the tax as high as $700 million. Speaker Silver who was the Democratic architect of the '99 deal to give the money away has indicated willingness to support its reinstatement. The new Senate Democratic Majority is more likely to embrace such a reinstatement than the Bruno or Skelos (who sponsored the '99 repeal in the Senate) Republican team. The Queens folks responsible for giving away some 5 billion dollars in commuter tax revenue since 1999 in what may be the dumbest and ugliest deal in the history of the dysfunctional NYS Legislature and are still thrilling us with their Assembly work today are: Queens Assembly members Vivian Cook, Marge Markey, Cathy Nolan, Audrey Pheffer and Bill Scarborough. The Mayor will need some magic in dealing with Albany to reinstate the Commuter Tax. The City could sure use this one now.

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