Suffolk to join lawsuit over MTA payroll tax

09/17/2010 12:00 AM |

Suffolk County will likely join neighboring Nassau in a lawsuit
claiming the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s payroll tax is
The tax forces all employers, including school
districts and local municipalities, to pay 34 cents for every $100
spent in payroll to the MTA. The tax is instituted in New York City and
the surrounding counties, including Suffolk.
The lawsuit charges the
tax should have required a two-thirds vote in the State Legislature for
passage and is a violation of the state’s home rule laws.
Under home
rule laws, New York State is required to submit a home rule message to
local municipalities seeking permission to enact legislation that is
not statewide. The MTA tax applies only in service areas of the MTA but
no home rule message was ever sent to the affected towns and counties.
County Legislature unanimously adopted a bill sponsored by Legislator
Ed Romaine (R-Center Moriches) Thursday directing Suffolk to join
Nassau in the lawsuit. It is now pending the signature of Suffolk
County Executive Steve Levy.
“Taxpayers spend billions propping up the MTA,” Mr. Romaine said in a statement. “This must end.”
April, the supervisors of seven eastern Suffolk towns, including
Riverhead and Brookhaven, announced their municipalities would also be
filing a joint lawsuit against the transit authority over the payroll
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