Patchogue - (WALK) It's massively unpopular on Long Island, but its legal. An appellate court ruled the MTA payroll tax is constitutional Wednesday, and it will remain in effect.
The tax was enacted in 2009 as a means of addressing the Metropolitan Transportaion Authority's deficit of approximately $2 billion. It requires employers within the MTA service-region to pay 34 cents of every $100 in payroll. Some smaller businesses pay a lower rate.
Nassau county sued the MTA in 2010, claiming the tax violates New York's constitution by changing tax policies in municipal communities to support a system that does not benefit the entire state. A lower court agreed, but its decison was overturned Wednesday.
The payroll tax generates about $1.2 billion per year. Transit officials expressed relief after the appellate court decision, "Removal of the tax's revenues would have had a catastrophic impact on the region's 8.5 million daily transit riders," according to an MTA statement Wednesday.
Other municipalities have tried and failed to have the payroll tax repealed; inclduing Southampton, Southold, Brookhaven and Huntington.