Somewhat overlooked in the coverage of Gov. David Paterson’s selection of Richard Ravitch to the number two post of lieutenant governor is the fact that Ravitch was the architect of the controversial bailout plan for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority—and that a big part of the plan was a payroll tax for the 12-county region.
Hardly anyone in county government anywhere was in favor of the payroll tax which affects businesses, nonprofits, schools, and local governments. Even Westchester County Executive Andy Spano was against it. The state Legislature approved the tax in May to help close the MTA’s $2.3 billion budget gap.
Fares also went up in a compromise deal. Last month, Metro-North fares rose 10 percent.
But the payroll tax—34 cents for every $100 in payroll is a killer because it means that property taxes will go up as a result.
Just how bad is the payroll tax? Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef minced no words the other day when he said: “This is the worst piece of legislation I have ever seen out of Albany.”
Thank you, Dick.