Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) was joined today by business owners in Pawling to call for a complete repeal of the MTA Payroll Tax.
“We want this payroll tax rescinded. Period, end of story,” Ball said. “Albany’s beginning to realize that the Hudson Valley cannot bear the burden of the MTA’s mismanagement. We will not be satisfied until the MTA Payroll Tax is repealed and a forensic audit is conducted. Our message must be clear and unyielding or this tax will be the final nail. We must work together to make sure this tax is rescinded.”
Betsy Ern, co-chair of the Pawling Chamber of Commerce Merchant’s Committee and owner of BaklaJava Coffee Bar and Bakery, said the MTA should not receive a bailout from the government.
“As a small business owner, I feel like I am already being taxed to death,” Ern said. “I think the MTA should bail themselves out, like I’ve had to do during this recession.”
Debra Klein, Human Resources Manager at Pawling Corporation, presented Ball with a symbolic payroll tax check of $35,000.
“This tax will keep businesses from doing business in New York,” Klein said. “This will keep employees from being employees in New York. And, this makes it very difficult to keep our employees happy, productive, and to help keep their lifestyles consistent with what it should be.”
The MTA Payroll Tax, enacted in May 2009 to pay for the MTA’s budget gap, imposes a 34 cent tax on Hudson Valley employers for every $100 of payroll. The tax is estimated to cost Hudson Valley employers $165.3 Million in 2010.
Participants at the April 15th Tax Revolt on the steps of the Putnam County Court House will submit their symbolic checks to Ball, who will calculate how much money is being taken from Dutchess, Westchester, and Putnam Counties to bail out the mismanaged MTA when it could be used to create jobs.
“This is the first step toward a historic tax revolt,” Ball said. “We have made available on my official web site a symbolic check for non-profits, schools, churches, and small businesses to write how much they are giving to the MTA, then bring those checks to the Putnam County Courthouse on April 15th.”
The ‘Rescind the MTA Payroll Tax’ checks are available for download from the website auditthemta.com, where visitors can also sign a petition demanding an independent forensic accounting of the MTA. Employers can also receive a symbolic check through Ball’s Assembly Office. Participants can also mail their symbolic checks to the Assembly office at 2392 Route 6, Brewster, NY, 10509 prior to the April 15th Tax Revolt Rally.