NYS Business Owners –
Stop Being Albany's ATM Card!
My company, Hampton Luxury Liner, started a lawsuit to annul the
unconstitutional and illegal MTA payroll tax. Winning this lawsuit
* Save NYS business owners and not-for-profits $1.8 billion.
* Force Albany to recognize that the MTA is a failed business
model that no bailout can save.
* Force Albany to be more business friendly.
NYS is ready for a tax revolt by all businesses. Enough is Enough!
The MTA is the most fiscally irresponsible organization in New York
State. In 2008 the MTA cost NYS taxpayers a total of $13.5 billion
composed of $5.9 billion in its absurd overpriced service fees, tolls,
fares, etc.. plus $7.6 billion in additional taxes and subsidies from
NYS taxpayers. And now they want an additional $1.8 billion with the
new Payroll Tax. NYS Taxpayers will now be subsidizing the MTA on top
of their fares a total of $9.4 billion.
The MTA is a failed business model with a 45 year history of corruption,
wasteful spending, inefficiency and fiscal irresponsibility. It
operates as a shadow government, answerable to no one with a Board of
Directors picked to function as a rubber stamp. The new chairman will
never be able to eliminate the $2.6 billion in excess salaries above the
norm, nor stop the corrupt business practices that continue to this day.
No bailout can save the MTA, which should have been put into bankruptcy
long ago and its functions divided up and appropriate parts privatized.
It is time for our elected official to realize this and stop wasting
This is how NYS business owners are thought of and treated by the
current administration in Albany. In the early spring of 2009, my
industry association went to Albany to lobby against the MTA payroll tax
and other taxes that Governor Paterson had put into his proposed 2009
budget. We met with various legislators to describe the disastrous
results Paterson's taxes would have on the state economy, particularly
jobs. One meeting was with Denny Farrell, chairman of Ways and Means,
one of the sponsors of the MTA payroll tax, whose committee controls
legislation that deals with taxes and one of the most powerful
legislators in Albany. Our meeting was short. After listening to our
complaints for a few minutes, he stood up, looked at us with utter
contempt and said "Well, someone has to pay for it" and then he walked
out of the room. It is no surprise that a recent study found that NYS
is first in business failures and last in business start-ups.
It's not just the outrageous taxes that NYS business owners have to pay.
There is a fundamental, systemic anti-business attitude throughout NYS
government. If you have ever had disputes with some of the
administrative agencies, the deck is clearly stacked against you.
Hearings at agencies like the Dept of Labor, Division of Human Rights,
and Taxation and Finance are run like kangaroo courts. It's very
difficult for NYS business owners to get a fair shake. Winning this
lawsuit is the first step in reversing the anti-business attitude that
gave us the $1.8 billion MTA bailout, and will gain NYS business owners
the respect they deserve. It sends the correct message to every existing
and potential Politician that NYS business owners and taxpayers in
general are a force to be reckoned with and no longer will be Albany's
ATM card. No longer will taxpayers accept legislators who constantly
lie to us claiming tax reforms to get elected, and then end up
supporting special interest groups when they get to Albany. Just a
quick review of the NYS pension system reveals how special interest
groups cause high taxes.
The MTA payroll tax is particularly harmful as there is no sunset clause
for the tax. Unless nullified by this lawsuit it will go on forever and
most likely increase. Beyond the fact that the MTA tax is illegal and
unconstitutional, the MTA tax revenues are going into a bottomless money
pit. Although the payroll tax revenues come from the 12 counties in the
Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District (MCTD), a recent analysis
revealed that 92% of the tax collected is supporting NYC MTA operations.
Unfortunately legislative efforts recently introduced to repeal the MTA
tax are highly unlikely to be successful. Governor Paterson or Governor
Ravitch will veto them. Chairman Farrell will try to block them. Any
political "deal" made to address this tax will wind up hidden somewhere
else in the budget. Even post the 2010 election it will be virtually
impossible to overcome the 60% majority that voted for the tax in the
assembly. Thus it is imperative that we sustain this legal battle.
The six causes of action in the lawsuit were researched extensively and
reviewed by experts with NYS legislative experience. Four of the causes
deal with seemingly clear violations of the NYS constitution. This does
not guarantee a win. This is New York State which is not immune from a
political judicial decision. A copy of the 50 page complaint is
available at www.mtataxpayerabuse.org
The MTA is taking our lawsuit very seriously because they know we are on
solid ground. They hired Nixon Peabody, an extremely expensive New
York City law firm who charges around $800 per hour. To add more salt
in our wounds the legal fees paid to Nixon Peabody will be paid by NYS
taxpayers to defend an illegal unconstitutional tax that every business
owner hates to pay and receives no benefit.
Right now I am funding this lawsuit by myself. I borrowed the money to
take it this far. I need financial help from every business owner in
the Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District. We need to raise
approximately $350,000. MTA Taxpayer Abuse, Inc. is registered to be a
501(c)3 for educational purposes and legal fees. I intend to speak at
every business group in the 12 counties affected by this tax. Please
make checks payable to the MTA Taxpayer Abuse, Inc. It is hard to
imagine a better return on investment. I need your help. Together we
will win this!!!