MTA Train Wreck, Next Stop: Long Island

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You would like to say suburban sprawl, but that would be disingenuous to families that moved to Long Island looking for a better way of life. Those families and businesses came to long Island bringing the growth and nutrients of a budding system. A system that brought a new view of life. Life entrenched with all kinds of possibilities for the future, it was like a rising sun, a new day,a new beginning. Alas, that was then and this is now. Welcome to the New Long Island, home of the recently adopted son, Damien, AKA The “MTA TAX”.

The MTA Tax is a tax bestowed on Long Island, not because of usage or need but because of the greed of an authority that has been mismanaged in such a way that it now consumes so much protein to feed the beast that it leaves no choice in description but to call it malignant tumor. How else can you describe an authority that brings  in $4.8 billion dollars in revenue with spending in salaries exceeding $8 billion dollars.

A press conference/rally was held today in Ronkonkoma at Pride Products discussing the need to repeal  the unjust MTA tax.

This rally was championed by Senator Lee Zeldin and attended by Assy Dean Murray,Assy Al Graf, Councilman Tim Mazzei, Councilman Steve Flotteron, Councilwoman Trish Bergen as well as by Bill Schoolman founder of Tax Relief Now, an organization that is presently attacking the  constitutionality of the MTA Tax.Guest speakers also included Ken Auerbach and the owner and founder of Pride Products.

Senator Zeldin spoke of the injustices of the MTA Tax to Long Island. How it is a cost burdened by schools and all entities, a tax levied in which all entities ultimately pay a tax that in essence is paid for by the individuals. He announced how the LI contingent of senators are in the process of having this unfair tax repealed. Assy. Dean Murray discussed the need for a forensic analysis for the waste, fraud and abuse within the authority. This was echoed by Assy. Al Graf. Councilman Tim Mazzei reflected on how the Town of Bookhaven has paid 300,000 dollars in an MTA tax that many in the town receive no benefit from. This was supported by Councilman Steve Flotteron of Islip Town as well as Councilwoman Trish Bergen. (The Town of Brookhaven currently has a law suit pending against the MTA Tax)

Bill Schoolman founder of Tax Relief Now, who currently has a lawsuit pending against the tax, spoke of the unconstitutionality, as well as the illegality of it (not receiving the proper legislative procedure in which to pass it). It is to be noted that Bill Schoolman is the owner of Hampton Jitney Bus Services, a company in which he pays over 20 thousand dollars a year in MTA tax to help fund his “competition”.

The state of the situation was probably best described by owner and founder of Pride Products, David Ermani who along with his wife Roya started their business in 1983. Through the years they have grown the business from a one car garage to a 150,000 square foot garage and office in 1996. With decline in  the economy they are now witnessing first hand, the reversal of growth. With the many impeding taxes and this latest implementation of the burdensome MTA tax, a  tax in which they receive no benefits, they are being forced to reduce their model, thus meaning a possible cutback in employees as well.

No matter how you cut it or try to explain it this MTA tax is truly a tax against what this country was started on. That principle was represented by many of the TEA Party groups that were also present. Some of the groups represented were North Country Patriots, Conservative Society For Action, and Suffolk County 9-12.

In a synopsis The MTA Tax is a tax levied by an unsustainable authority. An authority that brings in half the revenue that it pays out*. An authority that pays out over 600 million dollars in unapproved overtime.* An authority that even while it cannot meet it’s operating budget has no problem in approving a 20million dollar employee lounge for conductors and employees.* An authority in which 97% of it’s retirees collect disability while some play golf for free.*

Before this authority ever came to the trough in which to feed on the residents of Long Island, the senators at that time (Foley, Johnson) who were supposed to protect LI’ers should have made sure that the MTA house was in order and sustainable. Had they done their homework and looked out for their constituents, today’s conference would have never been a reality.

For now, as it was in 1773, taxation without representation is unacceptable. It’s time to throw the MTA and it’s taxes overboard!

*www.nystaxreliefnow.org

www.zeldin.nysenate.gov

 

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