De Blasio wants to immediately direct the ‘Fair Fix’ funds toward core MTA infrastructure improvements to reduce delays and disruptions
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday a tax proposal aimed at raising as much as $800 million annually for NYC’s deteriorating subway and bus system. The proposed tax adjustment – levied on fewer than 1% of the city’s wealthiest tax filers – could also allow the city to cut in half subway and bus fares paid by an estimated 800,000 low-income New Yorkers.
“Rather than sending the bill to working families and subway and bus riders already feeling the pressure of rising fares and bad service, we are asking the wealthiest in our city to chip in a little extra to help move or transit system into the 21st century,” said de Blasio.
The new tax would increase the city’s highest income tax rate by 0.53% on taxable incomes above $500,000 for individuals and above $1 million for couples. The newly generated revenue will add on to an annual $4.1 billion the city has already allocated as operational support for subways and buses, and the long-term needs of the MTA.
“Instead of searching for a quick-fix that doesn’t exist or simply forking over more and more of our tax dollars every year, we have come up with a fair way to finance immediate and long-term transit improvement and to better hold the state accountable for the system’s performance,” said de Blasio.
De Blasio wants to immediately direct the funds toward essential upgrades like signal improvements, new cars and track maintenance to reduce delays and disruptions that have affected the system and straphangers in recent months, as a report by Comptroller Stringer analyzed.
Half-priced MetroCards for low-income New Yorkers will be financed by an expected $250 million of the revenue raised by this tax, potentially benefitting as many as 800,000 low-income New Yorkers who are expected to qualify for half-priced MetroCards.
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