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Demise Of MTA Tax Pleases Yorktown Business Owners

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Relief is coming for Yorktown business owners now that the New York Supreme Court has overturned the MTA payroll tax, which imposes a 34 cent tariff on every $100 employers pay in salaries.

“This has made a big difference for small business,” said Joseph Visconti, president of the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce.

The court ruled the tax unconstitutional Wednesday in part because it is paid in only 12 New York counties. The tax is levied on employers in the downstate area served by the MTA, which runs New York City's buses, subways and commuter railroads.

“All this MTA tax was is just a tax that was pushed on the 12 counties north and east of New York City because they can’t control their budget,” said Yorktown Councilman Terrence Murphy. “They needed more money so they needed to extort business owners who have a payroll.”

Murphy, who owns two businesses in town, has been fighting the tax since it was instituted in 2009. In August 2010, Murphy submitted a resolution for the Yorktown Town Board to join forces with other counties affected by the tax.

“I get hit by the county, I get hit by the municipality, I get hit by the payroll tax,” Murphy said. “This is a great step in the right direction for people who own businesses.”

Speaking at a press conference with County Executive Rob Astorino and State Sen. Greg Ball (R, C–Patterson), Town Supervisor Michael Grace also expressed his excitement over the ruling.

“It shows how good government can fight back for a constituency to lower the cost of doing business in the State of New York,” Grace said. “It’s the beginning and there’s more to come about fighting back and being aggressive against all of these unfunded mandates.”

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