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State Sen. Foley has plan to lower MTA payroll tax

State Sen. Brian Foley, pictured at a November

State Sen. Brian Foley, pictured at a November news conference, recently announced a proposal to lower the MTA payroll tax to 11 cents per $100 in Suffolk and four upstate counties and 22 1/2 cents per $100 in Nassau and Westchester counties. (file photo, Nov. 11, 2009) Photo Credit: Newsday / Mahala Gaylord

State Sen. Brian X. Foley announced Tuesday a plan to lower the MTA payroll tax by 68 percent in Suffolk County and 34 percent in Nassau County.

The payroll tax, which the state adopted to help the MTA plug a budget gap, charges 34 cents for every $100 in payroll to employers in the counties served by the transit authority.

Foley's proposal would lower the tax to 11 cents per $100 in Suffolk and four upstate counties and 22 1/2 cents per $100 in Nassau and Westchester counties. The legislation has been proposed in the Assembly and Senate and will likely be up for debate early next year, he said.

"None of us would like to pay any taxes, but this would be a significant reduction," said Foley (D-Blue Point). "We need to bring some relief to our business owners."

The MTA faces a nearly $400 million budget gap. The MTA board meets Wednesday to vote on its $11 billion 2010 budget.

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