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City: MTA tax unfairly punishes local businesses

Gov. David Paterson proposed a partial solution to the MTA’s budgetary woes Monday, but some local officials are ticked off that the burden falls squarely on the city.

Paterson has proposed generating more than $200 million for the cash-strapped agency by upping a tax on city employers. Meanwhile, suburban employers, who have been vocal opponents of the payroll tax, would pay less than what they currently do.

“The idea that the state can spare the suburbs while sacking the city is terrible economics, grossly unfair, and contrary to every principle of good regional development,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement.

Even with the tax increase of 2 cents for every dollar, the MTA would have to adopt dozens of service cuts and deal with a $150 million funding gap for this year, an agency spokesman said.
State lawmakers must OK the proposed change, which Senate Republicans are already irate over.

“It has been a job-killing tax that could not have come at a worse time. It should be eliminated completely,” Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos said in a statement.

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