NYC Mayor Wants To Tax The Wealthy To Fund Subway Repairs

Mayor de Blasio riding the 7 train last month

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo agree that the Big Apple's subway system is deteriorating and in need of urgent fix. "It's time to end a system where low-income New Yorkers have to skip meals, beg for swipes or even jump turnstiles in order to get to work or school".

A year ago de Blasio floated a mansion tax to help pay for affordable housing for seniors.

The mayor said the bill, which he expects to raise $700,000 million annually, would exclusively be dedicated to the MTA.

"The city should partner with us and match the state funding now so we can begin Chairman Lhota's overhaul plan immediately and move forward". The announcement detailed 30 separate initiatives, which are estimated to cost $800 million over the next year. "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".

It would also fund reduced-price MetroCards for low-income riders.

Asked how he arrived at the threshold of $500,000 a year, de Blasio would say only that it was the same model he'd proposed to pay for universal pre-K - an idea that failed when Gov. Cuomo instead persuaded the legislature to fund the program statewide out of general revenue.

Subway power outages, long delays and even a derailed subway vehicle led New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency for the system back in June.

She is more on board with Cuomo's rumored desire for some sort of congestion pricing fee on vehicular travel to and around Manhattan.

According to the New York Times, Mayor de Blasio will announce the tax proposal on Monday, which comes nearly two weeks after MTA chairman Joe Lhota unveiled a 30-point action plan to fix the ailing subway system.

Scott Reif, a spokesman for Senate Republicans, said the city should not discuss raising taxes when it had a large surplus.

"The wealthiest among us will chip in to fix our subways".

De Blasio has countered that the city has already committed $2.5 billion toward the state-run MTA's capital plan. Women are more likely to live in poverty in New York City, and the poverty rate is higher among black, Hispanic and Asian residents, according to the city's statistics on poverty.

The tax would hike the top income tax bracket from about 3.9 percent to 4.4 percent for married couples earning over $1 million and individuals earning over $500,000.

"You can't delay an emergency plan to stop delays", said Lhota in a statement on Monday, according to NY1.

John Raskin, executive director of the Riders Alliance, was more receptive.