2002-11-02 / Letters

Bring Back Commuter Tax

Bring Back Commuter Tax

Dear Editor;

The City of New York , according to our Mayor, is in a deep financial crises; the MTA is in need of money There are only two simple solutions. Either a cut in services, such as the libraries, the parks, sanitation, etc. or increase the tax on cigarettes, liquor, real estate and the subway fare.

Simple, right? No so fast. Before they go into that, they should consider other ways that I believe are available to them, without cutting services or increasing taxes or subways fares.

First of all they should reinstate the Commuter Tax. It was a bad act repealing it in 1999.

Some people will argue that taxing non-residents for coming to the N.Y.City is unconstitutional. Baloney. The City of New York was not taxing those people for just coming to the city, Oh, no. They were (and are) coming to the city to work and make money.

Why reinstate it? Very simple. While in the City working and making money, the non residents enjoy many available and free services. The list is too long. I will limit myself to just a few essentials, like: The Sanitation Service. They enjoy the clean streets and parks, service rendered by the City of New York, not by Mineola, that is for sure. The Police Service. Who will protect them in case of a mugging or an assault?. Not the police from Rochester, that is for sure. Fire Service. Who will come to their help in case of fire at place of work? Not the Yonkers Fire Department, that is for sure. Medical Service. In case of medical needs, like a heart attack or other illness, it would be the City of New York to provide service to them, not Lynbrook, that is for sure and service costs money. For the record, the non-residents were paying .45% that is $4.50 per $1000. on earned money in the N. Y. C. or $225.00 for a salary of $50.000 a year.

I personally think it is the best bargain for the service available. One of my friends tells me he would be willing to pay that and more if the tax could save his job. Many non-residents work in libraries, in parks, in housings, Fire and Police Departments. A cut in those services could mean their jobs also. I know many people out of work for months, on the verge of losing their homes. They would gladly pay much more than .45% to get a job. I don' t think that the Commuter Tax will solve the financial crises completely, but coupled with other savings, it could alleviate and help prevent a cut in our services, an increase of taxes and the loss of jobs for many non-residents as well. By not reinstating the Commuter Tax, the City of New York is renouncing millions of dollars. Not bad for a city deep in a financial crisis. Another way to save money is to eliminate (or re-write) the N.Y.C. School Tax Credit.

Since 1998, the City of New York is giving $125.00 to couple and $63.00 to single (some restrictions apply) The only requirement is the N.Y.C. residency. The income is not a requisite. A person could make a million a year (or have no income at all) and still be entitled to it.

The reason for this give-away is to compensate people for paying School Tax to N. Y. C. (sic) If that is the reason, why is that a person who just moved to N.Y.C. that never paid any school tax is getting the credit, while the one who paid school tax, but moved out of the city, is not?

They are giving way millions of dollars a year. Not bad for a city deep in a financial crisis. I could go on and on. There are other give-ways in the City of New York. The space is too short.

Cutting the service or increasing the taxes and subways fares are not the only solutions available.


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