An Enlightening Point
In reference to "Haven’t Seen One Cent", Wave, November 10, 2000, I would like to enlighten Ms. Sharon Gabriel of one point of her letter, where she asks herself the reason why people coming from Long Island and vicinities should pay commuter tax to the City of New York. Ms. Sharon, people from Long Island and vicinities were not paying a commuter tax to just come to the city, but to work and make money in the city and that is the key word you missed in your letter.
Why should commuters pay a tax to the city where they work and make money? Very simple.
While in the city working and making money, they enjoy many available and free services.
The list is too long. I will limit myself to just a few essential, like: the sanitation service. They enjoy the clean streets and the parks, service rendered by the City of New York, not by Long Island or vicinities.
The police service. Who will protect them in case of a mugging or an assault? Not the cops from Long Island or vicinities, that is for sure.
Fire service. Who will come to their help in case of fire at the place of work? Not the Long Island or vicinity fire department. That is for sure.
Medical service. In case of medical needs, like a heart attack or other illness, would they call a Long Island ambulance to take them to a Long Island hospital? Of course not. It would be New York City providing all these services and, as you know, service costs money.
For your information, Ms. Gabriel, the commuters were paying a bearable .45 percent ($4.50 per $1,000 of earning in the New York City), that is $225.00 for an average salary of $50,000. Wouldn’t you say it was a real bargain for the many services enjoyed by them? I think so.
According to you, if as Ms. Audrey Pheffer supposedly said (you are assuming, are you?) the city has plenty of money. I personally do not think she said that. She is not that stupid.
If abundance existed in the city’s budget, it should have been (and still be) enjoyed by the city residents, not by the outsiders. I have no idea of the consequences, but I am sure that due to the loss of the commuters’ $40 million a year, we, the residents, have lost many services.
In the final analysis, their gain (the tax) was and still is our loss (the services). As for Mayor Giuliani coming to Rockaway only once a year, I say it is once too many. Rockaway never even voted for him.
As we say it in Italian, "Amore con amore si paga" ("Love, with love is paid").
Until next time, ciao.