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News Release    

May 4, 2009      

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

Steinhaus says Paterson MTA Payroll Tax contradicts his claimed opposition to Mandates

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County William R. Steinhaus rebuked New York State Governor David Paterson’s proposal that would drop a $400,000 financial mandate bomb on county governments by pushing for the MTA payroll tax, just days after the Governor announced with great fanfare his Executive Order opposing mandates on local governments.    The Governor proved his own announcement meaningless today when he called on the New York State Legislature to take immediate action on a proposed MTA bailout plan, including a new MTA payroll tax that property taxpayers would have to ultimately pick up the tab for. 

“Only in Albany, where there is any absence of logic or common sense, could they dream up an idea of one government taxing another level of government,” said County Executive Steinhaus.   “It appears the Governor and the State Legislature can’t seem to understand it all ends up on the same overburdened, abused taxpayer.”

The County Executive continued, “Instead of state officials trying to figure out the best way to pay their bill, the Governor and the State Legislature are trying to again pass the buck by taxing county government’s payrolls to pay for train service, which will wind up in everyone’s property tax bills for homeowners and businesses.”

Last week these were sample headlines that ran across various New York newspapers announcing the Governor’s commitment to ending unfunded mandates:

Property tax relief is on order    Albany Times Union
Paterson cracks down on unfunded mandates    The Buffalo News
Paterson Acts to Curb Property Tax Increases   New York Public Radio
Paterson press for mandate relief    Poughkeepsie Journal

The proposed MTA payroll tax would impose a tax of one-third of one percent tax on the total payroll for every business in Dutchess County as one of twelve counties that make up the MTA region.   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 State’s abdication of its responsibility is legendary.  They are forcing county officials to raise the county property tax levies in order pay the State’s bill, this time for train service,” concluded Steinhaus.   “It is these slight of hand tricks that made New York State infamous across the nation as the most dysfunctional state government in the United States.”


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Last Updated: 5/5/2009