Cuomo Thinks MTA Payroll Tax Is “Onerous,” Wants Alternative

Andrew Cuomo continues to leave the door open for cuts or changes to the NYC region’s payroll mobility tax, which raises $1.34 billion annually for the MTA. Here’s what he had to say about the tax after an event in Poughkeepsie yesterday (at minute 5:00 of the above video):

It is a very onerous tax. It’s not just in this area, people are complaining about it on Long Island, the entire metropolitan region. I said from the beginning, I understand the need to finance the system. If we can find a better way to do it, I’m open.

Cuomo’s already voiced his willingness to “revisit” the critical funding source, as have the four breakaway Senate Democrats. The Senate Republican majority has made repeal a top priority. If Cuomo is serious that any lost revenue would have to be replaced, the political foundation for some sort of deal is in place. The terms of that deal, however, are far from clear. Congestion pricing or bridge tolls would only raise a fraction of the revenue from the full payroll tax, but would probably provide more than enough to offset the loss of payroll tax revenue from suburban counties.