New Bridge Tolls and Payroll Tax Proposed For NYC Transit

A rescue package for New York’s debt-ridden M.T.A. includes two new revenue generators: first-ever tolls for the East and Harlem River bridges, and a 12-county, corporate payroll tax, to supplement fare and toll increases and transit service cuts.
December 4, 2008, 8am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"The authority is facing a $1.2 billion shortfall next year and even larger deficits in the future because of the economic downturn. The authority relies heavily on revenue from taxes on real estate transactions, which have plummeted as the real estate boom has fizzled."

"The authority has called for raising revenues from fares and tolls by 23 percent next year - which could mean a base subway and bus fare of $2.50 or higher, up from $2, the elimination of the W and Z subway lines," amongst other transit service cuts."

"The idea of collecting tolls on the bridges over the four East River and nine Harlem River bridges has enticed and tormented mayors for decades. It has repeatedly been proposed and then shot down, with especially strong opposition coming from elected officials in Brooklyn and Queens and on Long Island, whose constituents account for much of the traffic on the free bridges.

There would be no toll plazas: Most tolls would be collected through a system of E-ZPass readers. Drivers without E-ZPass would be identified and could be billed using digital cameras that snap a picture of each vehicle's license plate."

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Published on Thursday, November 27, 2008 in The New York Times
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