Oppenheimer Can’t Have It Both Ways On MTA Payroll Tax

Last week, the State Legislature repealed the unfair, job-killing MTA Payroll Tax for more than 80% of the businesses that were taxed to support the bloated MTA budget.

Incredibly, State Senator State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) issued a statement touting the Payroll Tax repeal, as if businesses would forget that she also  provided the deciding vote to pass the MTA Payroll Tax two years ago.

“The MTA payroll tax was absurd and never made sense in the first place,” said Westchester Republican County Committee Chairman Doug Colety. “This ridiculous tax was forced upon taxpayers as a quick fix to a problem that has been going on for years. Instead of looking for a remedy to the financial mess created by the MTA, elected officials, including Senator Suzi Oppenheimer, decided to take the easy way out and tax Westchester businesses,” Colety continued.

“Overturning this tax brought back some semblance of sanity which Albany so badly needs. Of course this would never have been an issue had Senator Oppenheimer not been the deciding vote on passing this outrageous tax on to her constituents over 2 years ago,” said Colety. “As you will recall when she was running for re-election in 2010, she went so far as to even claim that she didn’t even vote for the tax and didn’t even remember it coming up for a vote.”

In October 2010, Politics on the Hudson published an article detailing the different stories that Oppenheimer had told in relation to the MTA Tax. Even the NFIB came out against Oppenheimer’s claims stating:

Not only did she label that claim ‘specious,’ but she seemed not to know what she had actually voted for by wrongly suggesting that the MTA Payroll Tax was part of the state budget. Senator Oppenheimer went on to imply that as a result, voting ‘no’ on this measure would have shut down state government because Senate Republicans refused to cast any votes in support of higher taxes. Most shockingly, in a radio appearance today on WVOX, Senator Oppenheimer said, ‘I certainly didn’t support it’ and ‘I’m not sure it came up for a vote.’ We’d like to take this opportunity to respectfully correct the Senator on the facts, since she seems to have some confusion about what she voted for and when.*
“We have a representative that did not know what she was voting for and backtracked about the fact that she voted for this tax in order to get re-elected. How could someone not know that they are voting on a bill to raise the taxes of over 700,000 hardworking men and women?” said Colety. “It’s ridiculous.”

“Senator Oppenheimer can’t have it both ways. You can’t vote to strap the taxpayers of Westchester County, who already pay the highest property taxes in the state, with an additional tax to raise over $250 million and then come out and say how great it is that the tax is gone,” Colety said.

This is just one of a number of job-killing taxes that Oppenheimer has supported which has negatively impacted our community by stifling quality job growth and severely hindering economic development.

“We need to move New York State forward by standing up to Senator Oppenheimer and her status quo way of doing business that has lead to high taxes, low employment and forcing our children to move away to find jobs and raise their families,” said Colety.

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Douglas A. Colety was elected the 14th Chairman of the Westchester Republican County Committee in 2007, after having served seven years as the committee’s Secretary. He was re-elected as county chairman in 2009 and 2011.