State repealing MTA payroll tax for libraries
Lawmakers in Albany have put the brakes on a controversial MTA payroll tax that public libraries have paid since 2009.
On Monday afternoon, surrounded by other local lawmakers and library officials outside the New Rochelle public library, state Assemblyman Tom Abinanti announced the state is repealing the controversial tax in this year's budget.
"Libraries are so important to our communities," said Abinanti. "We don't need to add an additional burden that has nothing to do with what it is that they do."
The move is being celebrated by library officials across the Hudson Valley.
The head of the New Rochelle Public Library has been lobbying lawmakers for years to get rid of the tax. The library has paid $10,000 from its budget each year for the tax.
Library officials in Eastchester say the savings will go a long way in purchasing materials and books, as well as electronic resources that will help the library meet the needs of the 21st century.
In the new state budget, lawmakers not only repealed the MTA payroll tax on libraries, but also boosted aid to public libraries by $5 million, bringing the total state funding to nearly $92 million.
About nine libraries in Westchester and five in Rockland still pay the MTA payroll tax. The repeal doesn't take effect until January 2016.