Bill Schoolman MTA tax revisited- sponsor by LIBN
August 6, 2010 @ 12:00 am EDT
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Our speaker this morning was Bill Schoolman. His topic was the MTA Payroll Tax. Bill is a businessman, CEO of Classic Coach/Hampton Luxury Liner. Last December he sued the MTA & New York State over the MTA Payroll Tax. Here’s what he shared with us today on the subject:
The budget for the MTA is $13.5 billion. They collect $5.9 billion from fares and fees to users. The shortfall of $7.6 billion is collected from taxpayers. The MTA Payroll tax was instituted to cover an additional $1.8 billion operating shortfall, bringing the current total burden on taxpayers to $9.4 billion.
Mr. Schoolman began by offering some staggering statistics on MTA wages and salaries. One example: $183,000 to a railroad mechanic . This is the product of a corrupt system, per Bill. The MTA is called a Public Benefit Corporation. The biggest benefit , however, according to Schoolman, accrues to the people in the system. What the Public gets is an inferior transportation product, inadequate & diminishing service, and filthy rest rooms. The LIRR is among Bill’s competitors for the public transportation $. And ironically, he is being required to subsidize them.
Bridges and tunnels that are part of the MTA system were fully paid for decades ago. Yet tolls are increasing again and the money is going to this corrupt entity called the MTA. That states the problem. The tax is unfair, poorly applied, and levied in such a way that all of us can see the inequity. The people that really look into this tax ‘get it’! They see the general state of incompetence, ineptitude and arrogance in government at all levels. How can we endure the fact that over 90% of all employees retire as ‘disabled’, with each of them getting extra benefits for those imagined disabilities? How can we see a railroad mechanic being paid $183,000, retired at $10,000 per month and ever envision solvency for the MTA? Schoolman gave several other examples to make his point, but this was not a venting session. Bill came to us with a well researched and developed lawsuit that ! exposes that this tax, itself, is illegal. He said:
"We are on strong legal ground to have this tax annulled. The procedures used by Albany to pass the law imposing the MTA Payroll Tax violated five sections of the New York State Constitution a well as the Public Authorities Law."
The people in the room saw the inequity as clearly as Bill did, and they were as concerned by what the speaker was saying as was the speaker himself. There are presently five other lawsuits (Nassau County, the Towns of Southampton, Southold, Brookhaven & Smithtown, & the William Floyd School District) that are essentially using the same wording Bill’s attorneys prepared . Schoolman is taking every opportunity to speak to various groups and organizations in order to expose people to the strength of his argument.
What should be done, according to Schoolman, is that 1) the MTA should be declared bankrupt and 2) the salvageable pieces should be bought by ‘people who can run a business’.
This event was sponsored by Long Island Business News.
More information can be found on the special website of Bill Schoolman’s tax-exempt corporation: www.mtataxpayerabuse.org.
Pictured: Michelle Zere – Zere R.E., Shelly Sackstein – Action Long Island, Bill Schoolman – Classic Coach, Ernie Fazio, Marie Zere – Zere R.E.