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News Release    

February 2, 2009      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

Steinhaus Objects to Proposed Payroll Tax for MTA

Poughkeepsie… “Killing jobs by taxing already struggling businesses, particularly in this tough economy, is the wrong method to fund transportation infrastructure,” said Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus about the payroll tax to fund the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) that has been proposed by the Ravitch Commission.  The payroll tax dubbed as the “mobility tax” proposal would impose a tax of one-third of one percent tax on total payroll for every business in Dutchess County as one of twelve counties that make up the MTA region.

“Metro-North is an important part of our County’s economic well-being, but we cannot afford to lose more employers because of yet another burden of doing business in New York State,” said County Executive Steinhaus.

“Millions of dollars are already provided to the MTA from Dutchess County each year.   The MTA should be funded with other, more diverse funding mechanisms in order to meet operating objectives without adding this new tax burden to our businesses.”

In the three year cycle from 2005 to 2007, the MTA received more than $78 million from Dutchess County including mortgage tax revenue, station maintenance payments and .375% of the 8.125% sales tax rate.   As an employer with a payroll of nearly $119 million, Dutchess County Government itself would have to pay almost $400,000 for the payroll tax, placing more stress on property taxpayers.

“The money needed to fund mass transit and fix its fiscal challenges should be from a broader tax base,” concluded Steinhaus.



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Last Updated: 2/2/2009