New York mayor Bill de Blasio wants to tax the wealthiest residents to fund the city’s deteriorating subway system, officials announced Sunday, The New York Times reported, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that idea will take too long to put into action.
The tax would hike the top income tax bracket from about 3.9 percent to 4.4 percent for married couples earning over $1 million and individuals earning over $500,000. Around 32,000 New Yorkers who file taxes in the city, or less than one percent of the population would be affected, officials said.
John Raskin, executive director of the transit-advocacy group the Riders Alliance, told Fox Business in a statement he supports the mayor’s plan.
“A truly successful transit system is one that’s reliable, comprehensive and everyone can afford to ride,” he said. “It’s time to end a system where low-income New Yorkers have to skip meals, beg for swipes or even jump turnstiles in order to get to work or school.”
De Blasio’s proposal comes on the heels of the spat between him and Cuomo over how the city should pay for the decaying over 100-year-old subway system.
“Rather than sending the bill to working families and subway and bus riders already feeling the pressure of rising fares and bad service, we are asking the wealthiest in our city to chip in a little extra to help move our transit system into the 21st century,” de Blasio said in a statement.
However, the mayor’s plan must be approved by the state legislature in Albany and upper chamber, the Senate, is controlled by Republicans who already released a statement saying they would not support de Blasio’s tax hike plan. In the meantime, constant delays and breakdowns of the New York City subway system have prompted some to ask for immediate emergency funding from Albany.
Senate GOP on de Blasio’s millionaires tax for subways pic.twitter.com/FOGPF7egq3
— Nick Reisman (@NickReisman) August 6, 2017
“There’s no question we need a long-term funding stream, but emergency train repairs can’t wait on what the State Legislature may or may not do next year,” Metro Authority’s chairman, Joseph J. Lhota told The New York Times.
Lhota had proposed an $800 million plan for immediate subway repairs and suggested that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and de Blasio to split the costs evenly between the state and city budgets.
Cuomo agreed countering that De Blasio’s solution would take too long.
“The city should partner with us and match the state funding now so we can begin Chairman Lhota’s overhaul plan immediately and move forward,” Cuomo said in a statement to The Times. “We cannot ask New Yorkers to wait one year to start repairs.”