“The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.” – Montgomery Scott, Star Trek III
News Flash! The most annoying tax in the New York Tri-state area – the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax – has changed how and when it is assessed and collected. It is a open and shut case of yet more bridge & tunnel injustice.
What is the Metropolitan commuter transportation mobility tax? It’s a levy on all of us who don’t live in New York City but who commute in. In its simplicity, it’s a commuter tax. A commuter tax assessed on the counties of New York (Manhattan), Bronx, Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, Richmond (Staten Island), Rockland, Nassau, Suffolk, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, and Westchester.
What’s a commuter tax? A commuter tax is a penalty to those who don’t want to live in the city. Whether or not those taxes are constitutional is all in the structure. Prior to April 2000, New York imposed another such tax. The tax assessed an additional income tax on nonresident commuters to match the city income tax paid by residents. In May 1999, New York State repealed the applicability of this tax to New York suburbs – leaving it in place for commuters from Connecticut and the great state of New Jersey.
Do you think the state that brought you the Sopranos was going to let that stand? Heck no. New Jersey and others took New York State to the mattresses and had the tax declared unconstitutional. See Lary S. Wolf and Ellen S. Brody et al. v. State of New York, decided April 4, 2000. Such a commuter tax violates the Privileges and Immunities Clause and the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.
The Privileges and Immunities Clause says that the citizens of one state shall enjoy the same “Privileges and Immunities” as those citizens of their sister states. The Commerce Clause simply doesn’t allow one state to “burden” interstate commerce. So, no commuter tax for New York City.
Yet, these sneaky politicians restructured it and brought it back.
This commuter tax overtly affects only the self-employed. Everyone pays it, but it’s a small amount out of the employees’ paycheck, and it’s barely felt. The self-employed have to cut a separate check and file a separate return.
So what did the brain trust in Smallbany do? Well, nothing for us employers who pay this levy for our employees. So, that’s for making New York friendly to small businesses.
The brain trust amended the current law to combine the MCTMT payment and filing due dates to personal income tax payment and filing due dates. Yes, they changed the collection and reporting to be included on the regular tax forms for both the end of the year forms and the quarterly payments.
Yes, they made something make sense.
Your tax dollars at work.
A better solution – CUT THE TAX. GROW BUSINESSES.