The View From Pittsburgh

NYC got a property tax instead of a commuter tax because Mike didn’t win (or even play) chicken with state lawmakers, according to the Mayor of Pittsburgh.

According to a Pittsburgh newspaper, “…Bloomberg recently lost a bruising battle with the New York State Legislature about imposing a commuter tax in the city. As a result, Bloomberg was forced to raise property taxes 18 percent. Pittsburgh was able to avoid a similar fate when, after much wrangling, the Legislature passed a new $52-per-year emergency and medical services tax on city and suburban residents who work in the city.

“Recalling his conversation with Bloomberg, [Pittsburgh Mayor Tom] Murphy said in an interview, We had this conversation and he said, ‘How did you win?’ I said, ‘Because I was willing to take the city into bankruptcy.’ If I were [New York] mayor, I would probably have shut down the bridges coming in from Long Island…We just didn’t blink and the Legislature blinked.”

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