Queens Democratic assembly member David Weprin's proposal to introduce a bill in Albany that would implement a 1 percent nonresident commuter tax is disappointing. His proposal sounds great, but missed the potential consequences.
In today's global economy, boundaries which end at the city line between NYC, Nassau County and others mean very little. We are all neighbors and thankfully there has never been a Berlin Wall between us.
Each weekday, several hundred thousand Long Island residents travel to jobs in NYC - the economic engine of our metropolitan region. Many NYC residents have become reverse commuters to jobs in Nassau and Suffolk counties. It is naive to believe that NYC can survive economically in today's ever-changing technological and global economy without Long Island and the rest of Metropolitan New York. The suburbs around the Big Apple are equally dependent on the success of NYC.
Residents of Long Island and NYC in the end have much in common. We should work together as neighbors and not adversaries. Reintroduction of a commuter tax on one set of nonresidents could trigger an economic tariff war among neighbors. With the financial crises on Wall Street followed by our economic recession, thousands of commuters residing outside of NYC lost their jobs.
As a result, the reintroduction of any nonresident commuter tax will not bring in the same level of revenues as was the case during the 1990's when it was last in place. It could result in a retaliatory commuter tax by the impacted suburban county or neighboring state on NYC residents. At the end of the day, everyone could lose.