Cohen, Latimer Tussle Over MTA Tax Decision


Reaction was swift to a state Supreme Court decision yesterday deeming the Metropolitan Transportation Authority payroll unconstitutional, with a host of lawmakers and candidates cheering the decision.

That tax is on employers in the MTA service region — which includes the lower Hudson Valley — was beat down by a low-level state court late yesterday, though the authority has vowed to “vigorously appeal” the decision.

It was passed in 2009 as part of a bailout plan for the then-cash-strapped MTA, and was partially repealed by lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo late last year.

It’s been a consistent campaign issue since it was first passed and has continued to be in several suburban races, particularly in southern Westchester County, where candidates for retiring Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer’s seat have sparred over the tariff.

Assemblyman George Latimer, D-Rye, was quick with a statement last night. He sponsors a bill that would repeal fully repeal the tax.

“The elimination of the MTA Payroll Tax will directly relieve Westchester taxpayers significantly,” Latimer said in a statement. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we were able to eliminate the mobility tax for 25,000 small businesses in Westchester alone and now that the MTA has begun to stabilize its finances by controlling costs rather then balancing the books on the backs of suburban taxpayers, we can deliver real relief to Westchester residents.  I hope that with this new ruling we will be able to finally pass the legislation that I have introduced that fully repeal the MTA Payroll Tax.” 

His Republican opponent, New Rochelle businessman Bob Cohen, is quick to point out, however, that Latimer voted for the bailout plan that included the payroll tax when it passed in 2009.

“This is great news for Westchester small businesses and other entities that have been unfairly burdened by this unconstitutional tax,” Cohen said in his own statement. “This tax was passed by short-sighted Albany politicians, including my opponent George Latimer, who think new and higher taxes are the answer to every problem. This MTA payroll tax has cost Westchester businesses millions of dollars and an untold number of jobs. Mr. Latimer’s tax has been ridden out of town on a rail.”


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  1. just the facts on

    the question here is why is lattimer even putting out a press release when he voted for
    the unconstitutional tax in the first place….talk about disingenuous and the name Lattimer
    comes to mind….

  2. Typical George, votes for the tax & turns around & says he’s against it.

    Why is George trying to repeal it anyway? Didn’t the judge just do that for him?

    Latimer’s very two faced and I don’t know how anyone could vote for him.

  3. Well the Cohen Chorus is well accounted for! They know that their boy, Bob, has said nothing during the race and has bashed Latimer at every turn. And the bashing continues, because, this race is only about the Senate Republicans wanting to fatten their majority control. The truth be damned.

    Latimer sponsors the bill to kill the MTA tax; he also votes to slash it. But the Cohen Chorus says NO don’t pay attention to that! Back in 2009, there was the threat of a HUGE increase for commuters if the $2.3 billion gap was left standing. But don’t pay attention to that!

    defeat latimer! defeat Latimer! defeat Latimer! That’s all you need to hear!

    The GOP is utterly disgraceful on this, but the people of Westchester aren’t buying Empty Suit Bob, the Voice of the Senate Majority. Change the Senate – send ’em George Latimer who’ll stand up for us against the Senate GOP Majority.

  4. Dude – you’re absolutely right. Latimer is a class act. These folk commenting are Republicans who are on strict orders to praise Bob and down George at every turn.

    The constant vitriol eminating from Bob Cohen is embarrassing. I recall how he slashed Suzi, and how he used every trick to dump Diane DiDonato Ross. This is more of the same from a very wealthy landlord who has m-o-n-e-y to burn. ANYTHING to get that Senate Seat.


  5. George is the best candidate for the job and I am really pissed I was redistricted out of his district. Disclosure: I am a Dem – an ED Leader from White Plains. I am also an equal oppt’y taker of potshots, that usually stick …and sting. ANYONE worth his/her own salt should check up on George’s voting record and see that it is STELLAR!!!! I do not know his stance on gun control …yet, but just as I shoot at all my Dems about the issue, I nonetheless support them on the local level for election and reelection – this is where it counts: local stuff. The national stuff? Again, my Dems know how I feel – like I said: HOPE FOR CHANGE!!!

    Anyway, George is EXECELLENT on stormwater $$$/projects, infrastructure rehab for our area, fiscal sanity – he votes against the budget when he feels he has to..and he did. He is against pork – again, check his record. George, unlike some other national figures, CAN run on his record – and he is and does.

    George is his own man – many of us Dems are – George knows the area and what it needs. He also knows what good and clean government is and how to accomplish that. George knows Albany and I trust him to govern New York State in fine manner – George is a Winter Soldier – a True Patriot.


  6. Duke of Albany on

    Like every other Dem up there, he is a Shel Silver plebe. All of them have to appear before the Prince to find out what they can be for, and what they can be against. If Shel thinks the penitent is in local political trouble, he will allow that prole member to spiel the opposite of Shel’s Party line so long as Shel has the necessary votes in his pocket to negate the penitent’s stated position.

  7. The Duke of Albany proves the point. The attack on George Latimer is because he’s a generic Democrat. The Duke says he’s Shelly Silver’s boy…but anybody who followed Latimer’s votes knows he breaks w “shel” any number of times. The opposition to George ignores his bi partisan leadership of the County Board and his cooperative demeanor w local Republican led goats. Cohen must be behind in his polls or he wouldn’t be attacking Latimer so intensely this early. It tells me the GOP is apoplectic that they planned on a Cohen Coronation and now they have one hell of a contest on their hands.

    Unfortunately for George, the GOP will spend every dime to literally destroy him. He stands in their way. There isn’t anything they won’t say or do to help Cohen grab this seat. That’s why people who clearly don’t live in Westchester and couldn’t pick Armonk on a map are commenting here with all sorts of praise for Cohen and all sorts of garbage about Latimer.

  8. Dave O, didn’t George lead the board for Andy Spano’s unprecedented expansion of Westchester County government? Thanks goodness Westchester Co. residents had the good common sense to get rid of Andy Spano. Just 1 more penny for every dollar you spend was how they described their plan to increase the sales tax. That fortuately didn’t go through, but I think Westchester Co. residents did get hit with extra mortgage recording taxes and needless DMV surcharges. That’s not a record anyone should be proud of or bragging about. Has Latimer proposed reducing or cutting any spending? If yes, please give us some examples.

  9. He has the bill to reduce the tax on home sales. He authored a bill to cut fees for start up LLPs and LLCs. He helped Rye Brook freeze property taxes. Iknow him. People have no idea how good he is.

  10. Don’t even know who Cohen is but Democrats have taken us as close to the precipice of bankruptcy as we can allow. Do not vote for one of them.

  11. Thank you “Silbers”. You made my point again. I repeat: support for Cohen and opposition to Latimer has nothing to do with the individuals. Those supporting Bob want a REPUBLICAN in the seat. Those opposing George want a REPUBLICAN in the seat. The individuals – their record, who they are, what they’ve done or not done – is all subordined to the partisanship of the commenter.

    Interesting dynamic:
    Dyed in the wool Republicans want a Republican.
    Those who aren’t dyed in the wool Republicans want George Latimer.

  12. It has nothing to do with “wool.” It has to do with out of control big spending jackals dressed in sheep’s clothing.

  13. Baloney. The Senate GOP signed on to every budget – big spending – that passed over 73 of the last 76 years. Every one. Everything that made Albany bad had the GOPs ok – Triborough, union bennies, unfunded mandates – for all those years. Skelos is trying to sell that everything bad happened because of the Dems in two years. Hah.

    Cohen will do as he’s told. That’s the kind of Senator he ll be. You support him because you hate Democrats, that’s all.

    You don’t know Latimer. All he is to you is an impediment to your partisan control.

  14. Control? I control only my lawnmower, the one which I push to mow the lawn at my $500MK (and falling) home which is TAXED at over $17,000, which is exactly 17 grand more than I made last year thanks to greedy and ignorant politicians, school “leaders,” and those dumbbells who put them all in office and continue them in office. Get rid of all these big spenders and start with the Dems who love to save the whales and save the endangered norwegian rat but can’t figure out how to save themselves.

  15. HABIBHASAN-An American Storyteller on

    No Taxation Without Real Representation! Now ” the type of Representation where every thing From The Position of The GOVORNOR to The One Million Dollars Paid* in Town of The Notorious ROCKLAND County’s Janator in Overtime Payment! The Representation is ONLY for ” Who knows Who” Everyone is not Represented whatsoever! Shall we go file a Law Suit at The US SUPREME COURT? NO! Let the Pumps carry on and then file nomination papers of their ” aides” ?

    Think! But, How insane anyone can be to allow a few ( may be less than 100 ) deeply connected INDIVIDUALS to be in Every Public Office of Trust in Local Governments?

    No one except THE HEADS OF TOWN GOVERNMENTs there are 10 or less People who Regularly attend THE TOWN HALL MEETINGS! Why? And, the Corruption under the Table in Release of Bonds is so smooth that CABLE CHANNEL have all tapings! The Researchers needs to watch it in slow motion and observing 2 Years of Meetings ( THE FEDERAL INVESTIGATORS ) can learn so much that is never recorded by TOWN CLERKS in The Minutes Archiveed on TOWN WEBSITE!

    This is how ( they ) run ” what they call ” TOWN GOVERNMENT! And, THE NEW BREAKING NEWS TREND is ” CONTRACTORS” who become overnight rich of $50000 ” Run For A Town Councilman Seat” AND, after the honeymoon is over … WITH EXCESSIVE Conflicts of Interests start OVERSTEPING not only The Boundaries of Law, But abuse of Power vested in the Positioning and presumably positioning self as attempted RIGHT HAND MAN OF The Host of Oprah Winfree Show Town Hall of Rich in History!…

    May be an Intelligent Analysts doesn’t need to be a ” Regular Among Regulars” ! Now! that’s priceless…. Remember, I and My Accuracy …. That the Meaning of Credibility and Informed Information with my meager resources!

    After all! I am HABIBHASAN of The United States of America! But, I did not FAKE a BILLBOARD on Route 303….. I know everything that transpires in Secret Societies!

    TO BE CONTINUED…. ( I wrote this today! And, those who question my analyses … Write this Comment in your Dairy and By Next Spring wait and see How many People will start questioning these abuses! I am seeing it happening…but other may see it when the Birds have not only eaten the Tax Payers Harvest; but gone after SHITTING in the same fields!

    HABIBHASAN-An American Storyteller.