- Title: New York mayor wants more taxes from rich for crumbling subway
- Date: 7th August 2017
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SUBWAY
- Embargoed: 21st August 2017 19:27
- Keywords: Subway MTA New York public transportation Bill de Blasio
- Location: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- City: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Budget/Taxation/Revenue,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0046T5SMZP
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday (August 7) proposed raising taxes for the wealthiest New Yorkers to increase funding for the city's deteriorating subway system.
His plan, an increase in the tax rate on an individual's income above $500,000 to 4.41 percent from 3.876 percent, would also fund half-price bus and subway rides for up to 800,000 of the city's poorest residents, he said.
"I think it is absolutely fair to ask those 32,000 to pay more. I don't consider them to be in the same boat as the other eight million plus people who are struggling in so many cases to make ends meet. I think that group can afford to pay more," he said during a press conference.
The plan comes as the mayor and New York state's governor, Andrew Cuomo, squabble over who is responsible for the nation's largest subway system, which has suffered a surge in delays.
"I think right now, this is the solution that can start to have a real impact and also is one that a lot of New Yorkers can get behind," de Blasio said, emphasizing that the system is controlled by the state.
Cuomo controls the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the state-run corporation that operates the subway and bus system. He has the power to close it down without consulting the mayor, as he did before a winter storm in 2015.
The plan would need approval from the Republican-controlled New York Senate, which is averse to tax increases.
The city contributes about $1.6 billion a year toward operating costs, on top of the nearly $6 billion that comes in from New Yorkers and visitors using the system. The city has also committed to giving about $2 billion toward the MTA's $32.5 billion long-term improvement plans, while the state has committed about $9.3 billion.
Only 63 percent of subway trains have arrived on time this year, down from 85 percent six years ago, according to MTA data. In June, a subway derailment injured 34 people.
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