April 26, 2012
Help Fight NYC’s Proposed Commuter Tax

Dear Friend,

Recently there have been news reports that the Manhattan Boro President, Scott Stringer, has made statements that he wants to re-institute a “Commuter Tax” on anyone who works in New York City, but does not reside in New York City.

When I learned of this, I and my Republican colleagues on the Senate Budget Committee sent a letter to Mayor Bloomberg expressing our outrage that this idea was even being discussed. The unfair impact this tax would have on New Jersey residents is something that I felt could not go unaddressed.

Since then, Boro President Stringer and I have exchanged letters where he has attempted to justify this tax, syaing that it was perfectly reasonable to impose an additional tax on 301,702 New Jerseyans who work in New York City.

The income tax on commuters that Mr. Stringer is proposing would be 0.45% annually on anyone who works in Manhattan but resides elsewhere. This commuter tax on non-New York City residents would generate $725 million annually.

Mr. Stringer claims that the intention of this additional tax would be to dedicate that revenue to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Mr. Stringer believes that the MTA needs an additional “consistent stream of revenue.” As I pointed out to Mr. Stringer, it is not the responsibility of the 129,262 residents of Essex, Bergen, Passaic and Morris Counties who work in New York City to additionally fund the MTA to make up for decades of mismanagement at the New York based Authority.

I can assure you, as I did Mr. Stringer, that if talk of this commuter tax continues, I will be the loudest opponent of it. As I continue to fight to lower the tax burden on New Jersey residents, I will not idly stand by and allow the government of New York to take more money out of our pockets to solve their financial issues.

I encourage all of you to reach out to Boro President Scott Stringer via email at bp@manhattanbp.org or via telephone at 212-669-8300 and express your concerns over this ill conceived plan of his.

As this continues to develop, I will send periodic updates.

Sincerely,
Kevin O’Toole
Senator