A New York commuter tax probably won't drive business or out-of-state residents from New York City, a Fairfield University business expert said

Unless it's draconian, the commuter tax that New York lawmakers are considering will not drive business from New York City, said Norman Solomon, Ph.D., dean of the Charles F. Dolan School of Business at Fairfield University. Dr. Solomon is available to comment on the impact the commuter tax might have on New York City business and Connecticut and New Jersey commuters.

"It's an irritant," Dr. Solomon said. "It doesn't foster good relations between New York City and the people in New Jersey and the people in Connecticut."

That said, it's unlikely that a commuter tax will prompt Manhattan-based firms to relocate, Dr. Solomon said. The tax would have to be incredibly high to generate enough employee resentment to actually cause businesses to consider moving. It's also unlikely to make residents in Connecticut and New Jersey reconsider working in Manhattan, Dr. Solomon said.

And while it may be uncomfortable, people who work in New York City shouldn't be surprised. The budget deficit is too big not to consider a variety of measures, Dr. Solomon said.

"It's politically difficult to raise your own constituents' real estate tax and then hold your commuters harmless," Dr. Solomon said.

Not to mention that Connecticut and New Jersey residents don't vote for New York politicians, he added.

Dr. Solomon earned a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in industrial and labor relations; and a master's degree and doctorate in industrial relations from the University of Wisconsin. He also holds a certificate in management and leadership in education from Harvard University.

To contact Dr. Solomon, please call the Charles F. Dolan School of Business at (203) 254-4000, ext. 4070, during weekdays or (203) 257-2681 on weeknights or the weekend.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 31, 2003

Vol. 35, No. 186

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