'It's about time' for millionaire's tax to fix subway: de Blasio

De Blasio's plan calls for an increase to the city's highest income tax from 3.9 percent to 4.4 percent, an increase of nearly 13 percent.

The tax hike would impact individuals making more than $500,000, and married couples making more than one million dollars.

"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 our transit system into the 21st century", de Blasio, who is running for reelection, told the Times.

Calling it a "human crisis" as well as a subway crisis, de Blasio said the millionaires' tax would call on "New Yorkers who typically travel in first class to pay their fair share so the rest of us can get around, so the rest of us can get to work, so the rest of us can live our lives in this city".

"With New York City sitting on a surplus that is north of $4 billion, the absolute last thing we should be talking about is raising taxes", Reif said in a statement Sunday, according to NY1.

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MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said the mayor should partner with him and match the state funding immediately to "turn the trains around".

"Taxpayers, particularly New York City taxpayers, already provide approximately 40 percent of the mass transit budget through the payroll mobility tax and other taxes", she said an emailed statement.

De Blasio said the increase could raise $700 million next year and more than $820 million per year by 2022.

The mayor's embrace of half-price MetroCards for poor New Yorkers comes after months of lobbying from transit advocates and could be a popular proposal as Mr.de Blasio runs for re-election in November. "There is no doubt that we need a long-term dedicated funding stream", he said. The Mayor could pay for fair fares through the city general fund, however, and not wait through the long, laborious process of securing state legislative approval. In the meantime, constant delays and breakdowns of the New York City subway system have prompted some to ask for immediate emergency funding from Albany.

John Raskin, the executive director of the Riders Alliance, a New York City advocacy group that has called for reduced fares, applauded the mayor's push for new revenue and his support for half-price MetroCards. With Republicans in control the New York Senate, the proposed surcharge could face opposition - but the magnitude of the problem has captured the attention of both parties in Albany, The New York Times reported Monday. "But the success that many wealthy people have achieved has been because of government policies that favored them", de Blasio, a Democrat, said at a press conference in Brooklyn.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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