Back in May, before partisan warfare in the New York state legislature temporarily stemmed the spate of bad legislation, the Democrats in that distinguished legislative body did the sort of thing Democrats do. Voted in a new tax.
Of course, Republicans often do the sort of thing Democrats do, too. When I say Democrats did it this time, I mean 32 Democrats voted in favor and zero Republicans.
The lawmakers passed a so-called “Mobility Tax” on the residents of twelve counties to subsidize the Mass Transit Authority, which operates subways and buses in New York City. These include non-borough counties like Orange County. On a map of New York counties, you’ll see Orange lies near the Big Apple. But few residents there make much use of MTA transportation services.
As one of many Orange County residents put it, “Thruway drivers pay to operate the Thruway. We don’t get to tax the people of Manhattan to keep tolls down. Yet we are being asked to subsidize the MTA even more whether we use it or not.”
Public transportation should be privatized. In any case, though, passengers should pay their own fares. Hike the charge for a subway ride to four dollars, if necessary, and let riders demand better management. But don’t go after the wallets of people in the towns next door.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.