NYC Mayor Proposes 'Millionaires Tax' to Fix Subway
Bill de Blasio also wants the higher tax on city's wealthy to subsidize low-income riders
By Josh Rosenblatt,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2017 10:19 AM CDT
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio talks to reporters on the subway.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

(Newser) – A little over a month after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the New York City subway, his longtime nemesis in the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio, is proposing a new tax on wealthy New Yorkers to help fix the ailing system. On Monday, de Blasio will announce what the New York Times refers to as a "millionaires tax" to help repair the deteriorating system, which is plagued by delays, mechanical issues, and even derailments, the AP reports. The tax would also subsidize reduced fares for low-income riders. The tax would bump the top income rate from 3.9% to 4.4% for couples who make more than $1 million per year and individuals who make more than $500,000. It would affect just under 1% of people filing taxes in the city.

The new tax proposal could be a hard sell for de Blasio, the Times notes. Cuomo and de Blasio are both under immense pressure to fix the city's aging system, and the two men, who have had an acrimonious relationship since de Blasio took office in 2013, have fought over financing the subway system. The Metropolitan Transit Authority is run by the state, not the city. Since the tax would require approval from the New York State Legislature, de Blasio would likely need Cuomo's help to gain approval from the Republican-controlled Senate. In May the New York Times reported that delays in the subway system had risen to 70,000 per month from about 28,000 in 2012.

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