It will be interesting to see if 2103 mayoral candidate Scott Stinger can count on his Albany allies for implementation of the non-resident commuter tax. Democratic Assembly Speaker Silver only needs 75 votes plus his own for passage of this new tax.
With Democrats controlling 59 of 61 seats in New York City, Silver starts off with 59 votes. All Silver needs is 17 more out of the remaining 30 Democratic Assembly members who make up 101 of the 150 members of the state Assembly.
Silver can afford to allow Assembly members from potentially competitive suburban districts political cover by letting them vote “no.”
Republican state Senate leader Dean Skelos only has a one-vote margin to defeat reinstitution of a commuter tax on non-city residents. But Democratic senators who represent a significant number of constituents who commute from either Putnam, Rockland or Westchester County to New York City would vote “no,” thus killing this bill.
Just like their suburban Democratic Assembly colleagues, they may not want to concede this issue to any potential Republican challenger in 2012. Stringer would have to look elsewhere for the $700 million per year that he counts on from resumption of a non-resident commuter tax.
Intelligent voters are looking for real answers, not tired old promises which will never see the light of day.