As talks of multibillion-dollar transit fixes continue, you might wonder who’s paying. Mayor Bill de Blasio thinks it should be the one percent.
Today, he is expected to propose a tax on New York’s wealthiest residents to provide funds for subway repairs and cheaper MetroCards for commuters who are in financial need.
“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 yesterday in a statement.
The announcement comes at a critical moment amidst the barrage of attacks between the mayor and Gov. Andrew Cuomo over who’s responsible for remedying the faulty subway system. Only last month, de Blasio swore in a publicity stunt that he wouldn’t be handing over any more cash to the MTA, but in light of agency Chairman Joe Lhota’s proposed fix costing $836 million, it looks like the bucks won’t stop here.
However, Lhota is still in search of short-term funding and says the MTA needs more money now. “There’s no question we need a long-term funding stream, but emergency train repairs can’t wait on what the state legislature may or may not do next year,” he said.
Lhota didn’t miss the opportunity to point out that the mayor seems to have changed his mind after his speech last month and stated he was happy de Blasio “reversed himself” on the question of funding.