Cuomo Pans De Blasio's Tax The Rich Plan For Decaying Subway System

Mayor de Blasio to Propose Tax on Wealthy to Fix Subway System, Reports Say

The mayor's embrace of half-price MetroCards for poor New Yorkers comes after months of lobbying from transit advocates and could be a popular proposal as Mr.de Blasio runs for re-election in November.

"It's $7 a day - that's a half-hour of parking in a typical Midtown Manhattan garage", de Blasio said at the campaign-rally-style event in front of a podium of sign-waving activists.

Kathryn Wylde, CEO of the pro-business Partnership for New York City and a Cuomo ally, accused Mayor de Blasio of throwing "the city's high earners under the bus". Joseph Llota, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, recently unveiled an emergency plan to stabilize the system at a cost of about $836 million.

The plan would require approval from state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. De Blasio told the newspaper his plan would generate between $700 million and $800 million annually.

De Blasio's plan calls for an increase to the city's highest income tax from 3.9 percent to 4.4 percent, an increase of nearly 13 percent.

"Instead of searching for a quick-fix that doesn't exist, or simply forking over more and more of our tax dollars every year, we have come up with a fair way to finance immediate and long-term transit improvement", de Blasio said in a statement Sunday.

"The City should partner with us and match the State funding now so we can begin Chairman Lhota's overhaul plan immediately and move forward", Cuomo said in his statement.

But even proponents of de Blasio's millionaire tax acknowledge that it's a long-shot, and said the responsibility of funding and managing the MTA is ultimately on Governor Cuomo's shoulders. It would affect just under 1% of people filing taxes in the city.

"If the city wants to up its contribution to help shore up the subways for commuters and their families - which we support - it certainly has the means to do that", Mr. Reif said in a statement.

The MTA is now asking the city to kick in $228 million to fund emergency repairs to the system to stop the frequent meltdowns that have plagued commuters this summer, but de Blasio doubled down on his previous claims the the state already has plenty to pay for it and it is not the city's responsibility.

John Raskin, the executive director of the Riders Alliance, a New York City advocacy group that has called for reduced fares, applauded the mayor's push for new revenue and his support for half-price MetroCards.

All told, the tax would apply to an estimated 32,000 tax filers, less than one percent of the city's population, according to City Hall.

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