New York City Set To Pass "Congestion Toll", Mansion Tax And Plastic Bag Ban
New York state is nearing completion of a 2020 budget deal that's going to result in "congestion tolls" in Manhattan, alongside a "mansion tax" and a ban on single-use plastic bags, according to Bloomberg. State leaders and Governor Andrew Cuomo agreed this week on a spending plan for 2020 that allocates for 2% budget growth for the ninth year in a row. The plan increases spending for education aid and provides tax relief for the middle class, according to the Governor.
Lawmakers will be discussing the budget again Sunday night to try and meet a midnight deadline to pass it. The proposed "congestion tolls" will make New York City the first American city to charge drivers for access. It's projected to raise $1 billion, which will then be used to pay debt service (of course) on the $15 billion in Metropolitan Transportation Authority bonds outstanding.
MTA’s Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority has not yet released details on the toll program, which is expected to be implemented after December 2020.
In an attempt to drive even more wealthy New Yorkers to Florida, lawmakers will also be asked to approve a progressive tax on mansions with a combined top rate of 4.15% on the sale of properties valued at over $25 million:
The so-called mansion tax would establish a new scale of graduated levies, starting at 1 per cent on all New York City apartments selling for more than $1 million, rising at $2 million and reaching a top of 4.15 percent on $25 million. It’s expected to raise $365 million, to borrow about $5 billion. The old tax imposed a flat 1 percent rate at $1 million or more on all apartments.
Additionally, New York will follow California's lead in banning disposable plastic grocery bags. This will force residents to pay for paper bags or reuse their own bags and is expected to be implemented by March 2020. 71,000 tons of plastic bags are used annually in New York City, according to the report.
The legislation will also include "elimination of cash bail for about 90 percent of defendants awaiting trial on misdemeanors and low-grade felony charges."
Cuomo said of the budget: “From the beginning, I said we will not do a budget that fails to address three major issues that have evaded this state for decades -- the permanent property tax cap, criminal justice reform and an MTA overhaul including Central Business District Tolling. I also said this budget must be done right -- meaning it must be fiscally responsible and protect New York from the federal government’s ongoing economic assault on our state. I am proud to announce that together, we got it done.”