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McGrath warns against efforts to bring back ‘commuter tax’

Chris McGrath, Republican candidate for New York State

Chris McGrath, Republican candidate for New York State Senate 9th District Photo Credit: James Escher

Republican Senate candidate Chris McGrath, who will take on Democratic Sen. Todd Kaminsky in November, is warning against efforts by New York City Democrats to bring back the “commuter tax.”

The nonresident income tax was included in the New York City Council’s legislative wish list that was submitted to Albany lawmakers earlier this year.

“This modest charge amounted to 0.45 percent of wage earners’ income, and 0.65 percent of the earnings of the self-employed,” the City Council wrote in its request. “The repeal of the commuter tax has cost the city billions in cumulative revenue.”

The City Council has repeatedly asked for the restoration of the 33-year-old tax on commuters in the state who work in New York City since it was repealed by the State Legislature in 1999.

McGrath contends that if Democrats win back control of the Senate they would restore the tax, costing Long Island Rail Road riders an additional $728 each year.

“When the City Council and Senate Democrats look at Long Islanders, they don’t see hardworking men and women; they see dollar signs,” McGrath said. “Time and again, they fill their coffers at our expense, fulfilling their own costly agenda and making it tougher for our middle class to get by.”

Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) is “strongly opposed to a commuter tax,” said spokesman Isaac Goldberg.

“No amount of lies and scare tactics from McGrath will change that. If Chris McGrath wants to be a serious candidate, he could start by telling the truth,” Goldberg said.

Kaminsky defeated McGrath in an April special election for the seat Dean Skelos forfeited with his corruption conviction.

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