Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Building Inconsistency

In yesterday's NY Post there was an article on the David Weprin press conference against the mayor's congestion tax. At the presser, Weprin unveiled a number of alternatives and the Post focused on his proposal to raise fees to builders for their use of the streets in construction projects. As he told the Post: "The price for a three-month construction permit is $50, which encourages contractors to occupy street space beyond what is needed."

What was funny in all of this was the response from City Hall: "Mayoral aides appeared to dismiss the permit-hike idea saying the plan was based on "flawed logic." "Congestion isn't caused by dawdling construction. The construction industry has plenty of incentives to complete projects in a timely manner," one said."

Remember when the Committee to Keep NYC Congestion Tax Free issued its report on alternatives to the mayor's tax? The mayor's radio show response was that the unveiled alternatives did no address the funding issue for mass transit.

Well, we know that the increased construction in this city is in good measure a main culprit in greater traffic congestion-more so when you consider that the sheer volume of cars going into the CBD has remained relatively flat for the last ten years. So why not tax the big builders for their contribution to all of this, instead of shlubs who commute and make modest salaries?

In any case, the Weprin idea was a revenue enhancer. and the money raised could go to mass transit. It may be a drop in the bucket, but given the MTA deficit, what isn't?