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NYC mayor's plan to tax wealthy to pay for subway fix

09 August 2017

He said the subways weren't his responsibility, but Mayor de Blasio now wants to tax wealthy New Yorkers to pay for everything from emergency rail repairs to low-priced bus and train rides for the poor. The so-called "millionaire's tax" would add about $700 million a year initially to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's coffers, de Blasio said. He should begin by taking seriously the mayor's proposal for a 0.5 percent tax increase on individuals making over $500,000 and married couples earning over $1 million. New York City already provides $1.6 billion each year in operational support for subways and buses. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx Democrat, has repeatedly proposed higher taxes on millionaires to no avail. "Mayor de Blasio doesn't need to reach into the wallets of city residents to make that happen".

Lhota has called for an $800 million system upgrade to fix immediate problems on the subway that's caused an increased number of delays, derailments and other problems over the past five years.

"This has to get done now", said MTA Chairman Joe Lhota at a news conference Monday afternoon. The governor did not endorse the mayor's proposal, stating instead that, "The State is now evaluating a range of dedicated revenue proposals for the future to be discussed and advanced in January when the legislature returns".

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The mayor's proposal was immediately challenged by MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota, who wants the city to match state dollars immediately to fund an $836 million emergency fix plan. But a more comprehensive, more realistic long-term funding strategy is needed.

It now must be approved by state lawmakers, and it is expected to face significant challenges from Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and the Republicans who control the state Senate. The solution will require everyone involved - political and civic leaders, riders, businesses, and the men and women who work at the MTA - to come to the table, pitch in and help out.

Speaking with Mckesson on the podcast Pod Save the People, the Democratic mayor argued that the unpopular administration of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was partly to blame for marring the reputation of broken windows policing, which de Blasio said had "the right principle".

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"A truly successful transit system is one that's reliable, comprehensive and everyone can afford to ride", he said.

The mayor said "people do not want to see this madness continue" on the subways and that part of the money raised would be used for half-price Metrocards for poorer New Yorkers.

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NYC mayor's plan to tax wealthy to pay for subway fix