Stringer's solution is the commuter tax, but his problem is Albany
In a speech this morning, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer will call for the reinstatement of the commuter tax.
Michael Grynbaum at the Times offers a healthy dose of skepticism about whether the plan could ever actually get approved by legislators in Albany, where the old commuter tax died an ignominious death.
Stringer told Grace Rauh he could get the legislation passed if he were elected mayor, and pointed to Michael Bloomberg and Andrew Cuomo, who accomplished things people said they couldn't.
The examples he cited were Bloomberg winning mayoral control of schools and Cuomo getting budgets on time.
Neither of those would be directly analogous to Stringer's situation with reinstatement of the commuter tax. Bloomberg has reliable allies in the Senate Republicans, who he heavily funds. Cuomo has the constitutional power to put budget cuts in emergency spending bills if legislators want to go down that route.
Getting the commuter tax would require convincing suburban legislators to approve a tax on their constituents for services they take for granted.
In 2005, when Democratic mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer announced his support for a commuter-tax plan, Michael Bloomberg's campaign immediately sent out a list of elected officials who had endorsed Ferrer and had voted to get rid of the commuter tax. And that was the story.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for Stringer called to say, "Scott is willing to take on the big fights for the middle class, even when the nay-sayers say it can't be done."
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Stringer calls for reinstating the commuter tax. The problem is that Albany needs to pass it. [Michael Grynbaum]
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