De Blasio wants to raise taxes on the rich to fund MTA

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NEW YORK -

Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to tax the wealthiest 1 percent of New Yorkers to fund repairs and improvements on the city's beleaguered transportation system.

According to city officials, the mayor's "Fair Fix" plan would increase the top income tax rate from about 3.9 percent to 4.4 percent for married couples who make more than $1 million and individuals making more than $500,000. 

De Blasio made the announcement for the proposal Monday at Borough Hall. Officials say the tax hike would generate about $800 million annually and affect between 30,000 and 35,000 taxpayers.

"People that would be paying this tax are doing very, very well," de Blasio argues.

The added revenue would allow the city to slash subway and bus fares paid by 800,000 low-income New Yorkers. It must be approved by state lawmakers.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph Lhota said Sunday that the agency needs short-term emergency funding now.

Funds would be directed to improving core infrastructure like new cars, signal improvements and track maintenance. 

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