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News from Gale Brewer

State budget passes with measures to raise funds for the MTA

I hosted a public hearing at Cooper Union to hear directly from Manhattanites about the congestion pricing plan being considered in Albany.

The state budget just passed in Albany includes two measures which will provide desperately needed funding to the MTA…

Congestion pricing.  A congestion pricing plan—the first in the nation—will impose a fee on most vehicles when they enter Manhattan south of 61st Street, with revenues to be directed mostly to the MTA. I’ve supported congestion pricing as a way to reduce the clog of traffic in the business district and increase travel speeds for buses, boost street safety, and improve air quality. But I’m also working to mitigate the burden of that fee on those with disabilities, eliminate the surcharge on yellow taxi trips, and provide a discount for Manhattan residents. A commission is slated to nail down all the details by the end of 2020 and implement the congestion plan as early as 2021.

Real estate transfer tax.  An annual pied-à-terre tax was defeated by real estate interests and a one-time transfer tax on real estate transactions took its place, estimated to supply hundreds of millions in revenue a year. Naturally, that revenue will be dependent on the real-estate market, and won’t be as reliable as an ongoing annual tax on part-time residents as first proposed.