Bill would add $3 fee to online orders delivered in NYC to help fund MTA

Local News
New York sees drawbacks to delivery convenience

NEW YORK CITY — A lawmaker wants to charge New Yorkers a fee for package delivery — and give the funds to the MTA.

Legislation proposed by Assemblyman Robert Carroll would add a $3 surcharge to online delivery transactions terminating within New York City. The money would be used to fund the operating costs of subways and buses in the city.

The surcharge would not only help the cash-strapped MTA, which is facing a massive budget deficit due to the coronavirus pandemic, but also encourage New Yorkers to shop locally and support small businesses, Carroll argued in a joint Daily News op-ed with John Samuelsen, the international president of the Transport Workers Union.

The Brooklyn lawmaker also suggested the fee could incentivize both customers and retailers to consolidate online purchases into a single, more environmentally friendly package.

Carroll projected the surcharge, which would exclude deliveries for food and medicine, could raise more than $1 billion a year.

The MTA has asked the federal government for $12 billion in funding to help offset the cost of operating the subways, railroads and buses as the pandemic continues to disrupt ridership. The transit authority warned that without financial assistance, drastic service cuts, layoffs and fare hikes are on the table.

In a statement, the MTA said it’s goal is still federal help.

“We have been clear only $12 billion in federal relief can prevent drastic service cuts, layoffs and gutting our historic capital plan that would devastate our colleagues and customers. While the MTA welcomes creative solutions and any new revenue, the proposal is subject to the state legislative process and cannot itself solve the problem, which is why we urge continued advocacy in Washington.”

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