2011-12-09 / Top Stories

Ulrich Applauds Deal To Exempt Private Schools From MTA Tax

Councilman David G. Greenfield was joined by Councilman Eric A. Ulrich, Rev. Msgr. Kiernan E. Harrington, Vicar for Communications for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, Rabbi Mordechai Besser, principal of Manhattan Day School, and Sam A. Sutton, copresident, TEACH NYS, on the steps of City Hall on Wednesday to applaud the decision to exempt private and parochial schools from the MTA payroll tax. Prior to Tuesday’s agreement among Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority

Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, only public schools were exempt from the tax. “Simply put, this is an issue of fairness and equity. It’s not right to hold private schools to a different standard than public schools. I am optimistic that this is the beginning of a turning of the corner in terms of equity for state aid to private schools,” said Greenfield.

“This common-sense agreement recognizes the important role private and parochial schools play in our neighborhoods.

It wasn’t fair to tax them at a higher rate than public schools.” said Ulrich. “It’s nice to see the State recognizes what an important, dare I say critical role, non-public schools play in the education system. The teachers, who nurture thousands of children, should be treated at least as well as their public school counterparts. This is a good first step in showing the nonpublic schools that they deserve the State’s support and respect, just as the public school teachers do,” said Rabbi Besser. The agreement was part of a comprehensive state plan aimed at creating jobs and growing the economy. This reduction in tax burden will save non-public schools an estimated $8 million annually throughout the region, benefiting 400,000 students, including 100,000 in Jewish day schools and yeshivas. Depending on the size of a school, they will save anywhere from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars per year.

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