In Senate M.T.A. Plan, Three Counties Pay Lower Business Tax

ALBANY—The State Senate has distributed a draft copy of its M.T.A. bailout bill, and a spokesman said staffers plan to introduce it later today.

I obtained a copy early, and one thing that jumped out as an extra detail above the framework revealed Monday is the exact structure of the payroll tax: It will be 34 cents per hundred dollars of payroll for New York, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland counties, and 25 cents for Dutchess, Orange and Putnam counties.

On Monday, spokesman Austin Shafran only said it would be "graduated."

It's unclear whether there are 32 votes for the bill in the chamber. Both Democratic senators from Long Island–Craig Johnson and Brian Foley–have indicated they won't support the bill because of the payroll tax. Under the bill's current structure, businesses in their districts would pay the same amount as businesses in the five boroughs, which benefit from Subway and bus service.

Westchester County also doesn't make the lower bracket; sources say Smith is hoping to rope in members like Suzi Oppenheimer, Ruth Hassell-Thompson and Andrea Stewart-Cousins to vote for the plan. This would make that a harder sell.

UPDATE: Spokesman Austin Shafran sent along this PDF of the draft bill, and said it is now "likely to be introduced later this week" for a potential vote early next week. The bill is embedded below.

 

NYS Senate MTA Draft Bill