Friday, June 2, 2023

Skoufis Lobbies Against Orange County MTA Taxes Before Budget Approval

New York State Senator James Skoufis advanced two key provisions in the Senate’s recent budget proposal to counter the dearth of west-of-Hudson service offered by the MTA and put more money back in residents’ pockets. 

Though Orange County has historically been underserved by the transit authority–with limited access to trains and excessive wait times–local drivers have involuntarily been paying fees into the MTA during regular DMV transactions. Under Skoufis’ plan, Orange County drivers would be exempt from the $50 car registration and re-registration fee as well as the $16 license fee, both of which are unjust, unnecessary charges that are diverted to the MTA.

Additionally, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul has proposed increasing what’s known as the payroll mobility tax to bail out the MTA. The tax is levied against many businesses, non-profits such as hospitals and colleges, and local governments, the last of which is passed along to property taxpayers. In the Senate’s budget proposal, Skoufis successfully lobbied against this tax increase and, furthermore, exempted local governments from the existing payroll mobility tax. 

“Should these initiatives make it into our final negotiated state budget, Orange County’s drivers and taxpayers will save real money,” said Skoufis. “The MTA does not deliver reliable, robust train service to west-of-Hudson riders and we can’t keep paying into a system that doesn’t serve us. Our access to transit shouldn’t be a zero-sum game.”

With successful inclusion of Skoufis’ priorities in the Senate’s one-house budget, negotiations with the Assembly and Governor continue towards a final, balanced state budget, due at the start of April.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment (Logon via Facebook, Twitter or Google)




Latest Articles

The Newburgh News