With the pandemic forcing workers home, and government shuttering businesses, Americans have relied on ordering goods online more than ever.
This trend is being seized on by one New York Assembly member, who wants to tax package delivery. A proposal so absurd, even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed the idea.
The new bill would place a $3 delivery fee on all online order packages delivered to New York City residents. Packages containing food and medicine would be exempt from the surcharge. About 1.8 million packages are delivered to New York City residents every year.
This proposal comes after the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) announced the potential of 40% service cuts coming as early as May 2021. Assemblyman Robert Carroll (D-Brooklyn), who proposed the legislation, says that the fees would raise well over a billion dollars a year to fund the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), whose tax and ridership revenues have been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to funding the operating costs of buses and subways in NYC, Assemblyman Carroll also mentioned the legislation would incentivize New Yorkers to shop locally from small businesses in lieu of buying from major corporations like Amazon. Of course, many of these businesses aren’t allowed to operate, or have closed their doors due to lockdowns.
This money grab reeks of desperation from the MTA, New York’s wasteful, graft-ridden transit agency, overseen by Governor Cuomo. MTA projects have been rife with overspending. The agency is pleading for a federal taxpayer bailout so it is not forced to reform.
Even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, came out against the tax. In a tweet last night, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez criticized the bill for disproportionately affecting poor and working-class New Yorkers.
Hardworking New York City residents are already struggling financially under the harsh COVID-19 restrictions imposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio – the surcharge on packages proposed by Assemblyman Carroll’s bill would only continue to hurt taxpayers as they try to recover from the pandemic.