De Blasio wants to tax the rich to fund NYC subway improvements

"That means half-price MetroCards for 800,000 New Yorkers who are at or below the poverty line", de Blasio said. De Blasio has balked at that request. He said the state and city have short-changed the MTA for years, and a temporary tax would generate about $2 billion.

Kathryn Wylde, CEO of the pro-business Partnership for New York City and a Cuomo ally, accused Mayor de Blasio of throwing "the city's high earners under the bus".

Joe Lhota, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, recently outlined a roughly $800 million emergency resource plan with a sweeping set of fixes that he vowed would turn around the steadily deteriorating service and called on the mayor for funding.

The plan requires the support of the Republican-led State Senate which has already shot down similar attempts by de Blasio, including a "millionaire's tax" that would have raised money for affordable housing programs.

De Blasio on Sunday unveiled an election-year pitch to raise $800 million a year for mass transit by soaking the rich with a almost 14 percent tax increase on high-income Big Apple residents. "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 affect individuals making more than $500,000 a year and couples earning more than $1 million.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to propose a tax on wealthy New Yorkers to help foot the bill for subway repairs.

The transit system in Seattle began offering reduced fares for low-income riders in 2015 and has signed up more than 40,000 people.

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But even proponents of de Blasio's millionaire tax acknowledge that it's a long-shot, and said the responsibility of funding and managing the MTA is ultimately on Governor Cuomo's shoulders.

For his annual State of the State speech in 2018, Mr. Cuomo's office was exploring how it might introduce different forms of so-called congestion pricing, including fees on for-hire vehicles, according to a Cuomo administration official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

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

Mr. Lhota, who ran unsuccessfully against Blasio for mayor in 2013, also took a jab at Blasio, saying he was glad the mayor had "reversed himself" after arguing that the authority did not need additional money.

The MTA is now asking the city to kick in $228 million to fund emergency repairs to the system to stop the frequent meltdowns that have plagued commuters this summer, but de Blasio doubled down on his previous claims the the state already has plenty to pay for it and it is not the city's responsibility.

The top tax rate would rise from about 3.9 percent to 4.4 percent.

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

  • Rita Burton