by Alex Birsh
BEDFORD HILLS, N.Y. — The Bedford Hills train station held the sight of Sen. Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) and Sen. Lee Zeldin (R, C, I – Shirley) at the podium to publicly push their newest bills that they are trying to get passed in the New York Senate and Assembly, which would exempt municipal governments, schools and libraries from the MTA Payroll Tax that was partially repealed in December.
As per the bill passed in December, 80 percent of the payers of the tax were relieved due to their payrolls being lower than $1.25 million. But Ball noted that there are important remaining payers who should get the same treatment, especially the local governments who have been pining for repeals of unfunded mandates.
“We still have 20 percent paying, and we have told the local government we are going to tie your hands and make sure we’re going to pass a 2 percent tax cap, which is fundamentally important to relief in New York State,” Ball said. “But it’s critically important we do the same thing in reciprocity by providing unfunded mandate relief.”
Libraries would also be included in the exemptions that Ball and Zeldin have offered, as would schools, both private and public. While some libraries have been exempt because of small payrolls, others have payrolls that surpass the $1.25 million limit, which is what the bill would help defend.
“The biggest and most horrific unfunded mandate is the MTA Payroll Tax, and it’s killing municipalities, and hitting them over the head and requiring taxpayers to pay this multiple times,” Ball said. “We’re standing here today to continue our fight which has been tough but we’ve gotten it done, and I believe we’re going to get it done again, we’re trying to fully repeal it for municipalities and libraries.” (ARTICLE)
There are two separate bills on the floor of the Senate and Assembly both introduced by Zeldin, one specifically to exempt libraries and schools, with the other to exempt municipal governments. Zeldin believes the tax was wrong in the first place, and hopes to have it completely in the taxpayers’ memories.
“It was ill-conceived in the first place, and the fact that all of our counties, towns and villages and libraries all had to pay was wrong and still is wrong,” Zeldin said. “While we’re proud of our efforts together to repeal the tax for 80 percent of the people paying it, we’re not done, and we’re not going to stop fighting until there’s a complete repeal. (ARTICLE)