Train commute could get costly [WTNH]

April 18, 2012

Article as it appeared on

WESTPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — It is a long day for the Connecticut commuters getting off the train in Westport. They put hours in on the commute, as well as their hours on the job; and now they come home and are finding out it might cost them more in the long run.

This is because Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer wants to bring back the city’s commuter tax. Taxing those nutmeggers that earn their living in the Big Apple.

For someone making $100,000 a year the tax would be $450 a year.

“The commuter tax is a killer,” said Dick Delbello.

“I don’t think it’s right,” said Alan Schachter. “I don’t think it’s appropriate.”

While some are showing restraint and trying to stay calm, State Senator Toni Boucher of Wilton is irate and ready to go to battle to protect the citizens of Connecticut from what she says is over-taxation.

“They already pay New York income tax and a New York City tax on that income as well,” Boucher said, “this would be a third tax.”

After 33 years, the tax was repealed in 1999. Proponents say it would generate $750 million for regional transportation, but that’s of no concern for the travelers that would foot the bill.

“I’ve paid that New York tax in the past,” said Delbello. “I’ve been working in the city for 40 years…I’m not looking forward to another tax, thank you very much.”

To avoid financial losses Connecticut’s commuters are hoping their elected officials will back them up.

“I would think particularly the Fairfield County legislators would do that and perhaps they should tax going the other way,” said Schachter.

“Legislators like myself propose a similar tax on New Yorkers that come to work in Connecticut,” said Boucher. “So I would be cautious on the part of New York legislators on proposing such a controversial tax.”

The rail lines have long connected the two states, and it appears the possible new tax has drawn the battle lines between Connecticut and New York.