Like a number of other public transportation systems around the country, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority is struggling as ridership still has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels. In an attempt to come up with more funding for the MTA, New York governor Kathy Hochul has proposed a $700 million payroll tax increase. But Democrats in the state legislature aren’t happy with that proposal, so they’re looking for alternatives, including possibly taxing people’s Netflix subscriptions.
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According to the Wall Street Journal, taxing streaming service subscriptions such as Hulu and Netflix is just one idea among many that New York lawmakers are considering. Others reportedly include higher corporate taxes, a fee on package deliveries and a new surcharge on Uber and Lyft trips.
Raising corporate taxes to 9.25 percent on companies that report more than $5 million in income is predicted to generate $865 million in the first year, while adding a $0.25 fee to package deliveries would raise an estimated $300 million. Tacking the state’s four-percent sales tax onto streaming subscriptions would only make about $100 million per year.
Combine all those proposals together, though, and New York lawmakers believe they’d be able to raise enough money for the MTA to avoid a subway fare hike from $2.75 to $3.00. The MTA is said to not care where the additional funding comes from. However, MTA leaders reportedly prefer Hochul’s proposed payroll tax increase because they believe it would provide a more stable source of funding.
It’s still not clear which side is actually going to win, but state lawmakers have until the end of the month to finalize the budget. So we may know as early as next week whether or not HBO Max subscriptions are about to get four percent more expensive.