New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has introduced a new proposal that would increase the MTA payroll levy and override local zoning laws. This proposal has led to some Long Island Democrats worrying that the controversial proposal could end up costing them their seats.
The Democratic governor’s MTA package would require an increase in the payroll tax on city-area employers. This would allow them to raise an additional $800 million annually which could help offset some of the lower revenues that the city had during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The other proposal that has been criticized would allow a state panel to override local zoning decisions in cases where the local municipalities have not met the housing goals set by the state.
Democratic state Sens. Kevin Thomas of Levittown and Monica Martinez of Brentwood have countered however that housing initiatives need to be decided on a local level.
Democratic lawmaker and Assemblymember Michaelle Solages of Elmont has also said that they needed to ensure that there were no policies implemented that would remove all control from the municipalities.
Regarding the impact that this proposal could have Democratic Assemblymember Fred Thiele of Sag Habor has said that both proposals were “extinction-level events.”
Earlier this month, Gov. Hochul also made public her $227 billion state budget proposal while also warning that there would be economic hardship ahead of them. As part of the spending plan, there is also expected to be an increase in the cost of public university tuition, a 10% jump in school aid, and a proposal to revise the state bail law.