No Commuter Tax

Written by admin on . Posted in Opinion and Column.


To the Editor:
Borough President and potential 2013 mayoral candidate ’s support of the commuter tax (“ Engages the City,” April 8) missed the potential consequences of his position.

The metropolitan New York area, comprising New York City, Long Island, northeast New Jersey, the Hudson Valley and parts of southwestern Connecticut, is in competition against other metropolitan areas around the nation and world. Each weekday, several hundred thousand Long Island residents travel to jobs in New York City, the economic engine of our metropolitan region. Many others enjoy sporting events, the theater, museums, restaurants and shopping. A growing number of city residents have become reverse commuters to jobs in Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, along with New Jersey and Connecticut. Other city residents attend sporting events, shop, dine and visit other places on Long Island. It is naive to believe that New York City can survive economically in today’s global economy without Long Island and the rest of metropolitan New York.

With the financial crisis on Wall Street, thousands of commuters outside New York City lost their jobs. As a result, the reintroduction of any commuter tax will not bring in the same level of revenue as the 1990s, when it was last in place. It could result in a retaliatory commuter tax by the impacted county or state. At the end of the day, everyone could lose.

Larry Penner

Great Neck, Long Island

Letters have been edited for clarity, style and brevity.

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