To come up with an additional $700 million annually to fix N.Y.’s ailing subway system, Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for an increase in the city’s marginal income tax rates:
His “millionares’ tax” would kick in on singles earning over $500 million and for couples making over $1 million.
For the tax increase to become law, a home-rule message must be sent to Albany, then the state Legislature would have to approve it and the governor would have to sign it into law.
If the “millionaires’ tax” gets to Cuomo’s desk, he might just sign it to placate radical leftists in his party.
Should the de Blasio proposal be enacted, expect Progressives to insist suburban counties contribute more money to improve the region’s public transportation.
My guess, they will clamor for an increase in the county sales tax.
So, don’t be shocked if taxpayers in the highest taxed counties in the nation (i.e., Nassau) are stuck paying more to bailout the bungling MTA.
In June, I wrote about a Gannett newspaper report that revealed $13 billion in tax incentives, granted by state and local job programs since Gov. Cuomo took office in 2011, have been a flop.
The report severely criticized the governor’s much touted regional Economic Councils.
According to the Gannett report, “A review of awards showed some of the largest went to companies or colleges whose leaders have sat on the councils.”
Stony Brook University, which has had top personnel on the Long Island Council, was singled out because in “total number of awards, Stony Brook University has far surpassed all other [universities] with 26 since 2011— coming to $14 million overall.”
Of course, council members denied any influence claiming “They are not the decision makers.”
Well, “mirabile dictu,” it was announced on July 27 that Stony Brook University was awarded a $75 million state grant for a new medical tech institute. Mere coincidence? You decide.
The Town of Oyster Bay, whose municipal credit rating has achieved “junk status,” has been plagued by fiscal operating deficits and sky-high taxes thanks to incompetent and corrupt elected and appointed officials.
To pay for the town’s fiscal mess, Newsday reported that “the one tax line paid by all property owners, increased to $67.7 million in 2017 from $39.8 million in 2016, a 70 percent increase, budget documents show.
The general fund tax rate on single-family homes went up to $57.372 per $100 of taxable value in 2016 from $32.128, a 78.5 percent increase, budget documents show.”
I was speechless when I read those numbers.
And what are these egregious tax levies financing?
Here’s an example: Brian Nevins, who was the public mouthpiece for indicted Ed Mangano, has been hired as the town’s new public information officer for the princely sum of $163 thousand annually.
In financially troubled times, that’s the first job to be eliminated. But not in Oyster Bay where it is business as usual.
The Nassau University Medical Center, has been a dumping ground for the politically-connected for years.
In November 2014, for instance, NUMC hired Tim Sullivan as vice president of finance at $185,000 a year.
Sullivan was Nassau’s hapless chief financial officer when the Nassau Interim Finance Authority imposed a financial control period in 2011.
It was Sullivan’s job to insist the county’s budget was balanced even though the Nassau County Comptroller estimated a $134 million budget shortfall; the Nassau Legislative Budget office put the deficit at $118 million and the NIFA’s revised projection for the 2011 budget was $153 million.
In that same year, the secretary and administrative assistant to County Executive Mangano, Ann Marie Studdert, was hired by NUMC as the director of intergovernmental affairs and community service representative.
Her salary jumped from $69,732 to a whopping $164,999.
Maintaining its “all-in-the-family” hiring tradition, Megan Ryan, a former North Merrick Republican Committee woman, was named in July general counsel of Nassau Health Care Corp., the manager of NUMC for, get this, $300,000 a year. She replaces the late John Ciotti, a former Republican Nassau County legislator.
Try to enjoy the rest of your summer.