Ra Applauds Decision By Judge Cozzens, Reiterates Call For Full Repeal Of MTA Payroll Tax

Ruling could lead to tax relief for Long Island families

Assemblyman Ed Ra (R- Franklin Square) yesterday joined Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, Senator Jack Martins and other Long Island officials to applaud this week’s ruling by state Supreme Court Judge R. Bruce Cozzens, which declared the MTA Payroll Tax unconstitutional. The decision by Judge Cozzens was the result of a lawsuit brought by Nassau County, Suffolk County, Putnam County and various other towns and villages. The ruling stated that the MTA Payroll Tax was unconstitutional when it passed in 2009 because it was enacted without a home rule message, which should have been required since the surcharge only applies to 12 counties within the state. Approximately $1.4 billion was collected from this tax in 2011-12, and an estimated $1.2 billion is expected to be collected in 2012-13.

“For the past two years, I have been an outspoken critic of the payroll tax,” said Ra. “The tax is unnecessary and an excessive burden on businesses, organizations, and families across Long Island. This ruling is a major step toward reducing taxes and making New York more business-friendly. If we are truly dedicated to making New York open for business, there needs to be a dedicated effort to repeal oppressive taxes, like the MTA Payroll Tax, that are an overreaching burden on the backs of hardworking small-business owners.

Judge Cozzens’ decision did not direct the state to stop collecting the tax. Further action now lies with the New York State Court of Appeals, pending an appeal by the MTA. During the press conference, state and local officials jointly urged the MTA to forgo their appeal and, instead, work together to produce a more efficient agency.