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For Release — April 1, 2009

Business Council says enough is enough stop the MTA payroll tax

ALBANY— “In the wake of a state budget with the largest tax increase in our history, hitting businesses with a new payroll tax in the 12-county MTA region will kill jobs,” said Kenneth Adams, president & CEO of The Business Council of New York State. “Just days after Albany leaders pass a budget that forces employers to pay more for energy, health insurance and income taxes, now they want to whip up a payroll tax to bail out the MTA.”

“New York State has lost 146,000 jobs since last August. All these new taxes, including the proposed payroll tax, will accelerate more job loss in the region. This defies economic common sense. In the end, who will be left to ride the trains?” said Adams.

"The region's businesses already subsidize the MTA's operating budget with approximately $1.8 billion in taxes which include: the corporate surcharge, corporate franchise, sales and petroleum taxes,” added Adams.

“The proposed payroll tax is an especially bad idea for the outer counties in the region that do not get the same benefits from the transit system as the five boroughs,” said Adams. “But, it is also a bad idea to impose a tax on major sectors of our economy anywhere in the region at a time when they are struggling to survive.”

“As business decisions are made on where to add jobs as the economy recovers this tax-- along with the new and increased taxes in the state budget-- tells New York business leaders, “don't even think of growing here.” The Business Council applauds legislators of both parties within the region who have said the payroll tax is a non-starter,” said Adams.

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