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Manhattan, NY - Class Action by Out-of-Towners Challenging Parking Tax

Published on: September 1, 2009 02:52 PM
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Manhattan, NY - A federal class action claims that Manhattan discriminates against out-of-towners by charging them an 8 percent tax to park in the borough’s garages while Manhattan residents can apply for an exemption.
By charging the tax without limitation the city could raise up to $22 million, according to the complaint.

The five named plaintiffs are residents of New Jersey, Long Island and Queens who commute to Manhattan and park their cars in garages at monthly rates. They pay 18.375 percent in state, city and borough taxes, while Manhattan residents with qualifying vehicles pay only 10.375 percent.

Thousands of out-of-towners have paid the surcharge since Aug. 26, 2006, the class claims.

The class seeks declaratory relief and an injunction to stop the discriminatory tax policies, which they say violate the commerce, privileges and immunities, and equal protection clauses of the Constitution.

Named as defendants are the city and state of New York, former Govs. Eliot Spitzer and George Pataki, Gov. David Paterson, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the current and former commissioners of the state finance department and the taxation and finance department.


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Read Comments (11)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Sep 01, 2009 at 02:24 PM mikes dinettes Says:

this is a very fair lawsuit , since why should people from out of town pay more in taxes then people who live in mannhatten .

2

 Sep 01, 2009 at 02:39 PM Gimel Says:

Do we from the other boroughs also have to pay this tax? Why?

3

 Sep 01, 2009 at 03:13 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Gimel Says:

Do we from the other boroughs also have to pay this tax? Why?

Yes, everyone pays this tax except if they live in Manhattan and have applied for an exemption. This exemption is only given to people who can prove primary residence in Manhattan.

4

 Sep 01, 2009 at 02:50 PM Anonymous Says:

We shell do the same with the verizano bridge why is it that the bridge is cheaper for statend island residence?

5

 Sep 01, 2009 at 02:47 PM Anonymous Says:

This lawsuit will make that the residents from manhattan will also have to pay full 18%, no one should think one second that the city/state will give up one penny of tax money.

6

 Sep 01, 2009 at 03:40 PM tirdof Says:

Reply to #4  
Anonymous Says:

We shell do the same with the verizano bridge why is it that the bridge is cheaper for statend island residence?

In fact, a lawsuit contesting the Staten island preference was filed several years ago -- it's still pending.

7

 Sep 01, 2009 at 03:35 PM brooklyn boy Says:

I believe that NYC residents that live in the outer boroughs do pay this tax and I resent it. The exemption was started to make it fair for Manhattan residents to get a break on parking near their homes. They could very well get an exemption for parking near work so I would like the same exemption.

8

 Sep 01, 2009 at 03:34 PM Anonymous Says:

There are legal distinctions between taxes which (with few exceptions) cannot differentiate between residents of different states (based on the Commerce Clause etc.) and user fees which can take residence into account (e.g. lower usage fees for bridges or parks etc. which are financed and maintained with local taxes versus those paid for by federal taxes.

9

 Sep 01, 2009 at 05:58 PM tirdof Says:

Reply to #8  
Anonymous Says:

There are legal distinctions between taxes which (with few exceptions) cannot differentiate between residents of different states (based on the Commerce Clause etc.) and user fees which can take residence into account (e.g. lower usage fees for bridges or parks etc. which are financed and maintained with local taxes versus those paid for by federal taxes.

You don't have it exactly right.. Yes, the govt van discriminate in favor of its own residents in certain areas (recreation, state college tuition) where local taxes support the item in question. But in the area of road transportation that exception has yet to be litigated. The right to travel may come into play. Can you imagine a city or state getting away with charging only nonresidents to use its roads but letting residents use them for free just because they paid taxes? That would never survive a constitutional challenge.

Anyway, the Verrazano like other MTA bridges are supported not by local taxes but by user fees. Staten Island residents don't pay special taxes to support the bridge, so that justification, even if it were valid, doesn't apply.

10

 Sep 01, 2009 at 08:19 PM Anonymous Says:

soooooooo many taxes to pay. everyone wants a piece. I have nothing left for myself. :(

11

 Sep 02, 2009 at 11:18 AM Charlie Hall Says:

Reply to #10  
Anonymous Says:

soooooooo many taxes to pay. everyone wants a piece. I have nothing left for myself. :(

If you don't want to pay the parking tax, take the subway!

12

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