De Blasio Wants Tax Hike on Wealthy to Fix Subway

Mayor Bill de Blasio wants the wealthy to pay more to fix the subway system.

The New York Times reports he will propose a tax increase on Monday that would pay for needed repairs and subsidize half-price MetroCards for low-income riders.

“Rather than sending the bill to working families and subway and bus riders already feeling the pressure of rising fares and bad service, we are asking the wealthiest in our city to chip in a little extra to help move our transit system into the 21st century,” de Blasio said.

The plan would raise an additional $700 to $800 million per year.  About $500 million would go towards MTA capital costs, with the rest going to the half-price MetroCard program.

The city’s top tax rate would increase from 3.9 percent to 4.4 percent.  The tax increase would impact individuals making $500,000 a year and couples earning at least $1 million.  City officials said about 32,000 people would pay more.

“After saying the MTA doesn't need money, we're glad the Mayor reversed himself. However we need short-term emergency financing now. The Mayor should partner with us and match the state funding now so we can turn the trains around,” MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said.

The plan would need the support of the legislature in Albany.

Photo Credit:  Getty Images

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