December 1, 2009

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Business leaders tell MTA chief they don’t want payroll tax



MID-HUDSON – The new chairman and CEO of the MTA, Jay Walder, got an earful from business people as he met with groups in Wappinger, New Windsor and New City Tuesday.

The business leaders let him know in no uncertain terms how disappointed they are about the payroll tax imposed to help bail out the MTA.

Despite their impassioned arguments against the tax, Walder stood fast saying he understands the concerns about the tax, but it is part of a larger MTA bailout to help fund “the single most fundamental service” in the Hudson Valley.

“I don’t believe opening this now is helpful,” he said. “I think my commitment is to focus on showing people that we are using all of the taxpayer money as effectively, efficiently and productively as possible, and that’s where I am really focused at what I am doing right now.”

Walder said he would welcome a forensic audit from State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli or anyone else who wants to do one.

Since he took over the transit agency recently, Walder said his mission has to be “establish credibility that the MTA is using all of its resources effectively.”

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